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Incense and Candles in Churches Can Cause Respiratory Problems

March 11, 2014

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Research shows that air inside churches, filled with pollutants from burning candles and incense, may be a bigger health risk than the air we breathe on major roads. Air in churches was found to be considerably higher in carcinogenic polycyclic hydrocarbons than air on roads traveled by 45,000 vehicles a day. The air inside churches also had levels of tiny solid pollutants (PM10s) up to 20 times as high as the European limits. The study, by Maastricht University, The Netherlands, was published in the European Respiratory Journal.

According to Dr Richard Russell of the British Thoracic Society, “Particle pollution, whether it be in an outdoor or indoor environment, can be a danger to lung health and cause respiratory diseases such as emphysema and bronchitis.

“More research needs to be done in this area but we would also recommend that churches look at ways to reduce indoor air pollution such as improving ventilation.”

Read the entire BBC News story

Commentary by Dennis Lewis

In my book Free Your Breath, Free Your Life, I wrote about the respiratory dangers of candles, incense, and chemical fragrances. Now comes this news story that shows how candles and incense in churches can cause major respiratory problems. I believe that this is a serious matter not just for church goers, but for anyone who is frequently exposed to smoke from candles and incense during meditation, workshops, or any other events where indoor ventilation is poor. Add this “indoor pollution” to the growing pollution we face on city streets and elsewhere, and I think it is easy to see why respiratory illnesses are on the rise.

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