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Holy Smoke: Burning incense, candles pollute air in churches
Science News ^ | 8/19/06 | Ben Harder

Posted on 08/23/2006 7:21:50 PM PDT by elkfersupper

Incense and candles release substantial quantities of pollutants that may harm health, a detailed new study of air quality in a Roman Catholic church suggests.

Even brief exposure to contaminated air during a religious service could be harmful to some people, says atmospheric scientist Stephan Weber of the University of Duisburg-Essen in Essen, Germany. A previous study in the Netherlands indicated that the pollutants in smoke from incense and candles may be more toxic than fine-particle pollution from sources such as vehicle engines.

Numerous studies have examined the health effects of combustion by-products from major outdoor sources, such as automobiles and power plants. Researchers have also examined some sources of indoor pollution, including stoves. But there have been few investigations of the health consequences of candles and incense, even though they are usually lit indoors, sometimes in crowded spaces with limited ventilation.

Weber conducted the new study in St. Engelbert Church in Mülheim an der Ruhr, Germany. The church staff burns candles during each mass and incense on some holidays.

Weber installed two devices that continuously sampled air during a 13-day period that began on Christmas Eve of 2004. The equipment measured concentrations of particles up to 10 micrometers in diameter (PM10) and also those 1 µm or smaller (PM1), which endanger people's hearts, lungs, and arteries (SN: 8/2/03, p. 72: http://www.sciencenews.org/articles/20030802/bob8.asp).

During the study, incense burners and candles were lit for services at midnight on Christmas Day, on the morning of the following day, and on New Year's Eve. During services on other days, only candles burned.

Concentrations of both types of particles almost doubled during services that used only candles. Simultaneous use of incense and candles raised the concentration of PM10 to about seven times that recorded between services, and PM1 reached about nine times its background abundance.

Particulate-matter concentrations quickly dropped after the candles were extinguished, but remained elevated for 24 hours after simultaneous use of candles and incense, Weber reports in an upcoming Environmental Science & Technology.

Even the relatively modest increase linked to candles concerns Theo de Kok of Maastricht University in the Netherlands. In past experiments, he and his collaborators found that PM10 from candles might be especially harmful because, in the body, unidentified constituents of the smoke readily generate free radicals that damage cells.

After candles had burned in a Dutch chapel for 9 hours, particles in the air there formed 10 times as many free radicals as airborne particulates collected along busy roadways do, de Kok's group reported 2 years ago.

"Even after relatively short exposure, you can expect acute health effects" in susceptible groups, such as shortness of breath in people with asthma, de Kok says. He adds that he knows of no study examining whether groups such as priests and frequent churchgoers have elevated rates of cancer or other pollution-associated health problems.

Incense isn't used exclusively for religious purposes. Some people who live in cramped quarters burn incense to mask household odors, de Kok notes. In fact, an incense-using student originally proposed the study that de Kok's group conducted.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Extended News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: catholic; catholics; nannystate; pufflist; smoke; smoking; smokingbans
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The next target (logical extension) of the anti-smoking lobby.
1 posted on 08/23/2006 7:21:52 PM PDT by elkfersupper
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To: elkfersupper; GatorGirl; maryz; afraidfortherepublic; Antoninus; Aquinasfan; livius; ...

+



2 posted on 08/23/2006 7:22:23 PM PDT by narses (St Thomas says “lex injusta non obligat”)
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To: SheLion; Gabz; inneroutlaw

Ping.


3 posted on 08/23/2006 7:23:15 PM PDT by elkfersupper
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To: elkfersupper
The next target (logical extension) of the anti-smoking lobby.

I'm surprised they hadn't thought of this earlier.

4 posted on 08/23/2006 7:26:12 PM PDT by MAexile (Bats left, votes right)
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To: elkfersupper
Thanks for the ping. And don't forget......


5 posted on 08/23/2006 7:27:25 PM PDT by SheLion ("If you're legal, you can fly with the Eagle!" - Michael Anthony)
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To: SheLion
I thought you would enjoy this.

No list ping?

6 posted on 08/23/2006 7:31:05 PM PDT by elkfersupper
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To: elkfersupper

Cities need to start filing lawsuits. Just change all references to to tobacco/guns to candles and insense. /s


7 posted on 08/23/2006 7:33:10 PM PDT by PistolPaknMama (Al-Queda can recruit on college campuses but the US military can't! --FReeper airborne)
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To: elkfersupper
The next target (logical extension) of the anti-smoking lobby.

Amen.

8 posted on 08/23/2006 7:35:01 PM PDT by inneroutlaw
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To: inneroutlaw
Amen.

You're good.

I nominate you for High Priestess of the Church of the Painful Truth (stolen from Neal Boortz).

9 posted on 08/23/2006 7:38:49 PM PDT by elkfersupper
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To: elkfersupper

Don't you think this university's resources can be better spent?! No one needs a PHD or a laboratory to figure out that some people may be allergic to incense or candles. If they go to church, they deal with it in their own way. Sit in the back, etc. These scientists should discover something beyond common sense.


10 posted on 08/23/2006 7:44:54 PM PDT by World'sGoneInsane (LET NO ONE BE FORGOTTEN, LET NO ONE FORGET)
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To: World'sGoneInsane
Sit in the back, etc.

That's the way it started with smoking on airplanes.

My recollection is that the priest or altar boys start at the back and work their way to the altar with the incense.

Of course, the candle smoke is endemic.

Won't work.

And there are kids in there - infants being baptised.

Sorry, that's a non-starter.

11 posted on 08/23/2006 7:49:44 PM PDT by elkfersupper
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To: elkfersupper

What a load of bs. Less money to university, maybe MEANINGFUL research gets done.


12 posted on 08/23/2006 7:51:53 PM PDT by sgtyork (Prove to us that you can enforce the borders first.)
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To: World'sGoneInsane
He adds that he knows of no study examining whether groups such as priests and frequent churchgoers have elevated rates of cancer or other pollution-associated health problems."

"Study finds more studies necessary."

13 posted on 08/23/2006 7:52:07 PM PDT by Dumb_Ox (http://kevinjjones.blogspot.com)
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To: freepatriot32

Pingeroonie.


14 posted on 08/23/2006 7:56:46 PM PDT by elkfersupper
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To: elkfersupper

Next cooking will be banned.
We'll all be eating tofu soon.


15 posted on 08/23/2006 8:04:11 PM PDT by Westlander (Unleash the Neutron Bomb)
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To: elkfersupper

They can have my Nippon Kodo incense when they pry the sticks from my cold, dead hands.


16 posted on 08/23/2006 8:04:43 PM PDT by RepoGirl ("Tom, I'm getting dead from you, but I'm not getting Un-dead..." -- Frasier Crane)
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To: elkfersupper

As a former altrar boy let me just say that knowing what you are doing with the censor reduces the quantity of smoke so that it should not bother people. Of course sometimes we liked to see just how big of a cloud we could produce but that is another story.


17 posted on 08/23/2006 8:07:34 PM PDT by Straight Vermonter
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To: Straight Vermonter

altrar=altar

d'oh!


18 posted on 08/23/2006 8:07:55 PM PDT by Straight Vermonter
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To: elkfersupper
While working in the field of environmental risk analysis, I was always silently amazed by those who would readily drive in bumper-to-bumper smog-filled traffic each morning and evening and could tear you limb for limb in a meeting on the health risks of the use of an EPA-approved pesticide in some remote rural area of Alabama, south Texas, etc.

Homo sapiens is undoubtedly one of the least responsible of all species. And now it seems to be losing its mind.

19 posted on 08/23/2006 8:23:46 PM PDT by Muleteam1
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To: elkfersupper
It would be up to each person effected to call the parish, etc. The more important issue is, why do these people make such big deals out of everything.

Maybe the scientist thinks the incense causes global warming. /sarc

20 posted on 08/23/2006 8:25:14 PM PDT by World'sGoneInsane (LET NO ONE BE FORGOTTEN, LET NO ONE FORGET)
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To: elkfersupper

The even thicker clouds of incense we Easterners use don't seem to have much ill effect on the longevity of our monks and bishops, who breath lots more of the sweet smelling incense than laymen or even priest, deacons or those of us in minor orders.

Of course, maybe it's the parafin candles the Latins use. . .we make a point of using beeswax.


21 posted on 08/23/2006 8:31:04 PM PDT by The_Reader_David (And when they behead your own people in the wars which are to come, then you will know. . .)
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To: The_Reader_David
Of course, maybe it's the parafin candles the Latins use. . .we make a point of using beeswax.

Candles in the Latin Rite are supposed to be at least 51% beeswax. Beeswax smokes a LOT more than paraffin, BTW.

22 posted on 08/23/2006 8:43:05 PM PDT by Campion ("I am so tired of you, liberal church in America" -- Mother Angelica, 1993)
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To: elkfersupper

I was wondering when the anti-smoking lobby would target the churches.


23 posted on 08/23/2006 8:49:38 PM PDT by BigSkyFreeper (There is no alternative to the GOP except varying degrees of insanity.)
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To: elkfersupper
Right away I notice the lack of absolute numbers. "Seven times more" than when no candles were lit.

If they gave numbers in particles/m3 or mg/m3, you could compare the results to years of industrial hygiene studies from industry.

Apparently,, when we have our "sustainable economy" to stop global warming, it will not include candles or, heaven forbid, fire (the dioxin emission alone would raise the global cancer risk .0015). Or religion, other than Gaia.
24 posted on 08/23/2006 8:50:28 PM PDT by DBrow
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To: Campion

Of course it does. (Beeswax smoking more, that is.)

Is the rubric calling for 51% beeswax followed? Candles on Latin altars always look so white!


25 posted on 08/23/2006 8:52:50 PM PDT by The_Reader_David (And when they behead your own people in the wars which are to come, then you will know. . .)
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To: BigSkyFreeper
I was wondering when the anti-smoking lobby would target the churches.

They have been going after every little thing that lends a tiny bit of joy to life.

Now, they're going after the very meaning.

I'm still convinced it's going to take a shooting war to straighten all of this out.

26 posted on 08/23/2006 8:58:51 PM PDT by elkfersupper
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To: narses


FGS.


27 posted on 08/23/2006 9:00:59 PM PDT by onyx (1 Billion Muslims -- "if" only 10% are radical, that's 100 Million who want to kill us.)
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To: elkfersupper

What about the last 2000 years in churches? What about the pioneers who only had candles and lanterns? What about ...? What about this nitwit?? Honestly, spare us.


28 posted on 08/23/2006 9:14:34 PM PDT by bboop (Stealth Tutor)
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To: elkfersupper

Come on in and get the candles, buddy.


29 posted on 08/23/2006 9:15:24 PM PDT by bboop (Stealth Tutor)
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To: elkfersupper

Nothing is sacred anymore.


30 posted on 08/23/2006 9:18:19 PM PDT by BigSkyFreeper (There is no alternative to the GOP except varying degrees of insanity.)
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To: bboop

I wonder what will happen when they start going after the electric grid. They expect us to live in dark caves?


31 posted on 08/23/2006 9:19:46 PM PDT by BigSkyFreeper (There is no alternative to the GOP except varying degrees of insanity.)
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To: BigSkyFreeper
I was wondering when the anti-smoking lobby would target the churches.

It was only a matter of time.

I'm surprised it took them this long, quite honestly.

/rolling eyes.

32 posted on 08/23/2006 9:21:25 PM PDT by kstewskis ("Tolerance is what happens when one loses their principles..." Fr. A. Saenz)
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To: elkfersupper
Next they will be after my Lampe Berger!

Sheesh, this is getting ridiculous.

33 posted on 08/23/2006 9:22:26 PM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde
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To: elkfersupper
Lol...
Talk about the law of unintended consequences!
It was the Vatican that kicked off the second hand smoke crusade in 1995..."Prohibetur Uti Fumo".
.
34 posted on 08/23/2006 9:26:20 PM PDT by mugs99 (Don't take life too seriously, you won't get out alive.)
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To: elkfersupper

bump for later


35 posted on 08/23/2006 9:28:00 PM PDT by GOP Poet
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To: Westlander
Next cooking will be banned.
We'll all be eating tofu soon.


We'll all be enjoying our delicious and nutritious Soylent Green!
.
36 posted on 08/23/2006 9:29:49 PM PDT by mugs99 (Don't take life too seriously, you won't get out alive.)
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To: elkfersupper

Another brain-dead attack on religion by the left.

Last year, I was listening to the radio news, and was amazed to hear another "serious" study that was also attacking the Church. It said that Catholic schoolgirls who wore the typical Catholic schoolgirl uniforms to school were more likely to attract the attention of men who have a fetish for such things. As a result, Catholic schoolgirls at greater risk for potential "trouble". The conclusion of the "study" was that perhaps it would be better if Catholic schoolgirls stopped wearing the uniforms, and simply wore regular clothes to school, like everyone else. Another little incremental step to take away Catholic identity.

I was flabbergasted at the rank stupidity of such assertions. The thing is, the anti-religous idiots who came up with this stuff probably thought they were being subtle.

And now this. We can't have candles and incense in Catholic Masses anymore because of the horrible pollution to which it exposes the faithful. What rubbish!! What will "they" think of next??


37 posted on 08/23/2006 9:48:43 PM PDT by Zetman (I believe the children are the next generation.)
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To: elkfersupper

They envy the fact that some people find joy in living, and meaning in life.

The goal of some - not all - scientists is to destroy that joy and meaning.


38 posted on 08/23/2006 9:50:55 PM PDT by satire (I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.)
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To: BigSkyFreeper

"Nothing is sacred anymore."

Campfires and Bar-b-que are next.

How about the aerosol sized droplets formed when a toilet is flushed?


39 posted on 08/23/2006 9:57:44 PM PDT by rogator
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To: elkfersupper
Finally something the Baptist aren't doing wrong. Except many Baptist do use candles on Christmas, Easter, Weddings and some of the fancy dinners like Mother daughter banquets. I sure some non-tradional that use, incense.

If I could come up with low emission candles and incense I would be rich!

I have seen candles in many restaurants, but I have never seen them in a restaurant that serves lots of beans like a barbecue place.>

40 posted on 08/23/2006 10:12:57 PM PDT by ThomasThomas (I spelled it the way I wanted to.)
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To: elkfersupper
Weber installed two devices that continuously sampled air during a 13-day period that began on Christmas Eve of 2004.

How convenient that they chose one of the busiest times of the year in your typical Catholic Church to do this "study". I'm sure that inflated their numbers quite a bit to make their point.

41 posted on 08/23/2006 10:35:15 PM PDT by Tamar1973 (Don't argue with an idiot; people watching may not be able to tell the difference.)
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To: elkfersupper

I am incensed


42 posted on 08/23/2006 10:45:52 PM PDT by JohnnyZ (I ha' da Steve Nash DO befo' Steve Nash DID)
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To: elkfersupper

when I worked in a coal mining region, a lot of our people had black lung. So Father only used incense at the 10 o'clock mass, and would announce the week before if there would be incense, so the miners with black lung could go to 8 am mass


43 posted on 08/24/2006 12:21:15 AM PDT by LadyDoc (liberals only love politically correct poor people)
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To: elkfersupper; american colleen; Lady In Blue; Salvation; narses; SMEDLEYBUTLER; redhead; ...

The use of incense in the ancient world was common, especially in religious rites where it was used to keep demons away. Herodotus, the Greek historian, recorded that it was popular among the Assyrians, Babylonians and Egyptians. In Judaism, incense was included in the thanksgiving offerings of oil, grain, fruits and wine (cf. Nm 7:13-17). The Lord instructed Moses to build a golden altar for the burning of incense (cf. Ex 30:1-10), which was placed in front of the veil to the entrance of the meeting tent where the ark of the covenant was kept.

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44 posted on 08/24/2006 3:22:48 AM PDT by NYer ("That which is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor. That is the whole Torah." Hillel)
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To: BelegStrongbow; sionnsar

Ping.


45 posted on 08/24/2006 3:39:04 AM PDT by Alia
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To: narses

And after the churches will come the back yard BBQ.


46 posted on 08/24/2006 3:45:57 AM PDT by Diva
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To: elkfersupper

There are some kinds of incense that bother me a lot. Can make my eyes water. The priest thought I was really affected by the service, but I had to tell him it was only the incense.


47 posted on 08/24/2006 3:47:00 AM PDT by knuthom
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To: Alia

Thanks for the ping!


48 posted on 08/24/2006 3:54:26 AM PDT by BelegStrongbow (www.stjosephssanford.org)
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To: elkfersupper; NYer; narses; kstewskis; Raquel; Victoria Delsoul; kassie; Tax-chick
Even brief exposure to contaminated air during a religious service could be harmful to some people, says atmospheric scientist Stephan Weber of the University of Duisburg-Essen in Essen, Germany.

Ahhh... but for the soul, an enternity of salvation.

Take your pick! ; )

49 posted on 08/24/2006 4:19:50 AM PDT by Northern Yankee ( Stay The Course!)
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To: Campion; kstewskis; Victoria Delsoul; NYer; Raquel; Tax-chick; kassie; narses; MozartLover; ...
It was cold and damp outside yesterday as I made my way to morning Mass. When I walked into St. Stephen's, one of our Catholic churches, I could smell the candles burning, and the see quiet glow of the candle light before the altar.

It brought a warmth to the soul that cannot be described. I gazed over to the alcove to see statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary, bathed in the light of the blue votive candles, and thought to myself, "This is home".

Bring on the candles!

50 posted on 08/24/2006 4:33:27 AM PDT by Northern Yankee ( Stay The Course!)
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