Is Incense Bad for You

Incense has been used for centuries as a tool for spiritual and religious ceremonies, as well as for its pleasant aroma in homes and meditation spaces.

But recently, some studies have raised concerns about the potential health risks of incense smoke, not only for humans but also for pets such as cats and dogs.

According to research, burning scent can release harmful chemicals and particulate matter into the air, which can be inhaled and potentially cause respiratory problems.

These chemicals include polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and fine particulate matter (PM2.5). PAHs have been linked to cancer and PM2.5 can cause lung and heart problems.

Furthermore, incense smoke can also aggravate pre-existing respiratory conditions such as asthma and bronchitis.

The smoke produced by scent can also be harmful to animals, especially those with respiratory issues.

The smoke can irritate their eyes, nose, and throat, and may cause coughing or sneezing. In severe cases, it can even lead to respiratory distress or lung damage.

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), it’s important to keep pets away from burning myrrh and ensure that the incense is burned in a well-ventilated area to reduce exposure to smoke.

However, it’s important to note that not all incense is created equal. The type of incense, as well as the materials used in the incense burner or holder, can greatly affect the level of harmful emissions.

For example, using a ceramic or metal incense holder may reduce the amount of harmful particulate matter released compared to using a wooden holder.

Additionally, some incense is made with natural ingredients and essential oils, which can have a positive impact on the air quality and overall well-being.

This natural scent can be a great way to freshen up the air in your home, while also providing therapeutic benefits such as stress relief, relaxation, and improved mood.

One alternative to traditional essence is the incense waterfall, which uses a flow of water to filter the smoke and release a cleaner, less harmful aroma into the air.

This method is a great way to enjoy the benefits of incense without the potential negative effects of smoke for both humans and pets.

While it’s true that burning essence can release some harmful chemicals and particulate matter into the air, it’s important to keep in mind that exposure to these emissions is typically low and the risk to healthy individuals and pets is considered to be minimal.

However, for those who have pre-existing respiratory conditions or pets with respiratory issues, it’s always best to consult with a doctor or veterinarian before burning aroma.

Overall, incense has been used for centuries and continues to be a popular way to improve the atmosphere of a room, create a sense of calm, and support spiritual practices.

With a little knowledge and precautions, we can continue to enjoy the benefits of scent without any significant health risks for both humans and pets.


  • American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA)
  • “Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Indoor and Outdoor Air” by D.K. Milton, Environmental Health Perspectives, Vol. 108, Supplement 4, 2000
  • “Particulate Matter (PM) Pollution: Health Risks and Regulations” by M.R. Cooper, Journal of Environmental Health, Vol. 72, Issue 8, 2010

It’s important to note that different types of aroma can have different levels of emissions, and some studies have found that traditional stick incense produces higher levels of particulate matter and PAHs than cone or coil incense.

Additionally, some studies have also found that certain types of incense, such as sandalwood and agarwood, produce lower levels of emissions compared to others, such as joss sticks.

Another important factor to consider is the burning time of incense. Longer burning incense will release more smoke and potentially more harmful chemicals, so it’s important to use a scent with shorter burning times.

Furthermore, it’s also recommended to avoid burning incense in enclosed spaces, as the smoke can accumulate and increase exposure to harmful chemicals.

Despite the potential health risks, incense can also have a number of positive effects.

For instance, some studies have found that the scent of incense can help to improve mood, reduce stress and anxiety and promote relaxation.

Additionally, fragrance has been traditionally used in spiritual and religious practices for centuries, and many people continue to use it for its cultural and spiritual significance.

In conclusion, burning scent can release harmful chemicals and particulate matter into the air, and it can be harmful to both humans and pets, particularly those with respiratory issues.

However, by being aware of the potential risks and taking steps to reduce exposure to harmful smoke, such as using a cleaner-burning incense or an aroma waterfall, using natural ingredients and essential oils, and ensuring that the incense is burned in a well-ventilated area, we can continue to enjoy the benefits of fragrance without any significant health risks.


Vivek Baghel is a Professional Blogger, Writer and likes to write on various niches as well as all about the latest news. He's also Admin of a tech blog and shares Tech, News, SEO articles, and the Latest News.

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