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RareDenver's avatar

We all know that you shouldn't smoke around young children but what about burning incense?

Asked by RareDenver (13141points) June 27th, 2009

It’s still smoke after all so surely there could be respiratory issues?

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21 Answers

Tink's avatar

Just don’t do it, problem solved

RareDenver's avatar

@Tink1113 I wasn’t planning on it, I was just curious.

whatthefluther's avatar

According to this American Cancer Society article, burning incense does increase the risk to respiratory tract cancers.

whatthefluther's avatar

@Tink1113….It is after 3AM! What are you doing awake?

Lightlyseared's avatar

I know of people who’s asthma is exacerbated by incense so it would probaly not be a good idea to do it on a regular basis.

Tink's avatar

@whatthefluther just fluthering and you?! :)

whatthefluther's avatar

@RareDenver….That is not surprising. For the longest time tobacco companies wouldn’t admit that cigarettes caused cancer. I would play it safe and not burn incense on a frequent or prolonged basis around anyone particularly in an enclosed area. I burn incense everyday (I never completely shook my hippie days) but I always crack a window or two to avoid heavy concentrations of smoke. If anyone has a respiratory ailment, just don’t burn the stuff.

@Tink1113…Just fluthering like you at 3:45 AM, here in L.A.. But I’m old, so I nap during the day. You, however, need to get regular sleep!

Tink's avatar

@whatthefluther I nap during the day too, but I’m in an important conversation and don’t want to go to sleep

RareDenver's avatar

@whatthefluther I burn incense too and I smoke. My niece is visiting at the minute and although I would never smoke or burn incense while she was here it just got me thinking.

whatthefluther's avatar

@RareDenver ,,,Yes, I’m guilty of smoking, as well (cigarillos +). And I do love my patchouli incense. Burn everything with care and in consideration of guests, and all will be good.

sakura's avatar

I burn incense every so often, but not for long and I often have a window open too! An interesting thougt I had never considered the smoke impact on our bodies!
One thing that my sister has noticed is that incense tends to send her son (who has form of ADHD) hyper and he often gets very tense whenever incense has been burned!

juwhite1's avatar

I think the amount of damage that can be done by burning incense around kids varies greatly depending on whether you are also smoking pot around them at the time.

sanari's avatar

No, incense smoke is not harmful in the same way cigarette smoke is. Cigarette smoke contains carcinogens and nicotine byproducts which are harmful to the breather.

Linda_Owl's avatar

Most people do not burn incense anywhere nearly as often as smokers smoke – so potential harm is debatable (at least in Western society).

ubersiren's avatar

Unless there’s a pre-existing condition it probably would have huge effects if done just every once in a while. Just like being around a campfire or barbecue.

RareDenver's avatar

@sanari Incense smoke contains various contaminants including gaseous pollutants, such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides and volatile organic compounds, and absorbed toxic pollutants (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and toxic metals). There is no question that those contaminants are carcinogenic and can cause respiratory diseases, but the risk of those depends on the exposure.

RareDenver's avatar

@juwhite1 Is there an assumption here that people who burn incense in their homes are also pot smokers?

juwhite1's avatar

@RareDenver – No, there is an assumption that many pot smokers also burn incense. Actually, I made that comment because about 10 years ago, a neighbor lady of mine used to smoke pot around her toddler-aged daughter all the time, but insisted that the fact that she burned incense made it less damaging to her child because it cut the smell out of the room. I do think that the pot and incense combined probably were less damaging than tobacco smoke with all the chemical additives in it, but I still thought it was horrible that she did that. Child Protective Services did end up taking the child when she was about 4… I don’t know all the details of that deal.

stardust's avatar

I burn it fairly often, but I like to open a window. When my friends kid is around, I shut the door of the room the incense is burning in so she won’t be around it at all. It can’t be good for such small lungs.

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