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10 Reasons Why Your Incense Could Be Hurting Your Health

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Incense sticks are a popular relaxation tool among Millennials and Gen Z. However, if not used properly, they can have negative health effects. This article will explore using incense sticks safely and discuss their benefits.

The Dangers of Scented Candles

Burning anything continuously can affect our respiratory system. It is proven that harmful substances in delicate particulate matter can reduce lung function and worsen chronic lung diseases. Similarly, long-term inhalation of incense sticks or scented candles may expose you to carcinogens.

Variety of Scents in Incense Sticks

Incense sticks come in various scents. After trying several options, you can choose a scent that suits you or one based on its specific effects. For instance, rose and lavender scents help with relaxation, stress relief, and sleep. Sandalwood’s scent calms the body and mind and helps soothe an excited nervous system.

Effectiveness in Sterilization and Pest Control

Incense sticks are also effective for sterilization and pest control. They can be beneficial when indoor air is stale or smells unpleasant. However, using them in unventilated small spaces can irritate your lungs or obstruct breathing, posing health risks. People with respiratory issues should use incense sticks cautiously.

Benzene Detection

It has been found that the likelihood of benzene exposure increases in smaller, enclosed spaces where burning occurs. When air quality was measured after ventilation, no harmful substances were detected. Therefore, it is crucial to create ventilation by slightly opening a window while burning incense sticks and fully opening the windows after they burn out.

A Major Culprit in Indoor Air Pollution

Many people use scented candles or incense sticks to create a calming atmosphere or eliminate odors in their homes. However, these can actually pollute indoor air. According to tests conducted by the Korea Consumer Agency, total volatile organic compounds exceeding recommended levels were detected after burning a scented candle for two hours and an incense stick for 15 minutes in a space similar to an apartment bathroom.

Ventilation is Key

Ventilation is crucial when engaging in such activities. Keeping windows tightly closed while continuously burning candles or incense sticks can lead to respiratory issues and dangerous situations. Ensure thorough ventilation before and after enjoying your incense, and avoid the habit of burning them too frequently.

Beware of Hypoxia

Incense sticks are known for their effects on meditation and mental stability. You might think you are fully immersed in meditation and feeling calm when you become slightly dizzy after lighting an incense stick. However, this is similar to the symptoms of hypoxia. Hypoxia can cause hallucinations, drowsiness, and lethargy, and a slight euphoria may occur during this process. This is as dangerous as past incidents of glue sniffing, so caution is necessary.

Consider Incense with Labeled Ingredients

If you are concerned about health issues related to burning incense sticks, consider using those with labeled ingredients sold domestically rather than imported ones. Using low-smoke incense sticks that contain over 70% oak charcoal and natural oils can also be a healthier option, as they produce less smoke and add a refreshing scent.

Check for Compliance Verification

Some brands of incense sticks available on the market display a safety compliance verification number. Ensuring this verification can help you enjoy incense more safely. Additionally, choosing incense sticks made from kneaded fragrance paste that produce less soot rather than bamboo-based ones with adhesive-bonded fragrances can be beneficial.

Preventing Fire Hazards

To prevent fire hazards from incense sticks, use them on a flat, heat-resistant surface with a dedicated holder and keep flammable materials like curtains away. Store incense sticks out of reach of children and pets to prevent ingestion or contact.

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