A new study, carried out by researchers in the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the US, says burning incense releases pollutants, including carbon monoxide.

The report of the findings, titled "Hazard assessment of United Arab Emirates (UAE) incense smoke" appears in the August 2013 issue of Science of the Total Environment.

The World Health Organization estimates that more than one million people a year die from chronic obstructive respiratory disease (COPD), primarily a result of exposure to pollutants from stoves and open hearths.

Burning incense releases similar pollutants, including carbon monoxide, reports the study, in which the authors identified and measured the particles and gases emitted from two kinds of incense typically used in UAE homes.

The testing was done over three hours, the typical time-frame during which incense is burned, in a specially designed indoor environmental chamber with a concentration of smoke that might be present in a typical UAE living room.


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