Long-time exposure to incense can lead to respiratory tract cancers reveals a study. A direct link between the incense and cancer has been discovered by the researchers at the Statens Serum Institute in Copenhagen, Denmark.

IncenseResearchers note that the burning of incense sticks can produce carcinogens and particulate matter that can cause upper respiratory tract cancers and lung cancers. These results come from a study the researchers conducted on more than 61,000 Singapore Chinese aged between 45 and 74.

Out of these 325 were discovered to have upper respiratory tract cancers and 821 lung cancers over the course of the study. The carcinogens are also estimated to cause nasal or sinus, tongue, mouth and laryngeal cancer.

“Given that our results are backed by numerous experimental studies showing that incense is a powerful producer of particulate matter and that incense smoke contains carcinogenic substances, I believe incense should be used with caution.” said the author of the study, Dr. Jeppe Friborg, of the department of epidemiology research at Statens Serum Institute. However, there is no connection between inhaling the incense and lung cancer.

The researchers thereby suggest less and cautious usage of the sticks plus explain the need of future studies on the same subject to identify least harmful type of incense.

The study has been published in Cancer, a journal of the American Cancer Society.