I heard about this on television the other day: that burning incense may cause cancer, especially those of the upper respiratory tract. Incense is made from plant materials, but when burned, produces carcinogens like polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and benzopyrene which is thought to cause lung cancer.

So if you feel that burning incense helps your meditation or spiritual practice, do so with caution. Put it out before it completely burns out, ventilate the room immediately or burn the incense with the windows open, weather-permitting.

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