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A Mosaic of Traditions - One Virtual Sangha => The Metta Station => Socially Conscious => Topic started by: daimond on September 02, 2011, 02:16:11 am

Title: Incense smoke hazardous to health: Thai officials
Post by: daimond on September 02, 2011, 02:16:11 am
(http://wwwdelivery.superstock.com/WI/223/1436/PreviewComp/SuperStock_1436R-356933.jpg)

Incense smoke hazardous to health: Thai officials
AP, March 12, 2011

BANGKOK, Thailand -- The clouds of aromatic smoke that waft through Thailand's Buddhist temples are potentially hazardous to your health, according to the country's Public Health Ministry, which has issued new guidelines for incense burning.

The smoke emitted from the incense, or joss sticks, commonly used at temples contains unsafe levels of benzene, butadiene and benzopyrene, which could cause leukemia and lung, skin and bladder cancers, Thailand's Health Minister Jurin Laksanawisit said in a statement Thursday.

The ministry is recommending that temples avoid lighting the incense in poorly ventilated places, use short joss sticks rather than long ones and quickly discard ashes from burned incense, the statement said.

Temple staff should avoid prolonged exposure to the smoke, wash their hands and faces after handling joss sticks and have annual medical checkups, the ministry said. The findings were based on a study conducted by Thailand's Chulabhorn Research Institute based on samples from temples in three provinces.

The samples showed the incense smoke contained benzene at levels 53 times higher than recommended safety standards, 33 times more butadiene and 10 times the amount of safe benzopyrene, the statement said.

http://www.buddhistchannel.tv/index.php?id=7,9984,0,0,1,0 (http://www.buddhistchannel.tv/index.php?id=7,9984,0,0,1,0)

the question are in the Buddha time, when lay people meet the Buddha did they offring the incense and put hiolo like right now we do?

could we change the offering from incense to like flower necklaces like jasmine necklace (like in the photo above).

of course I understood the incense are more practical than the flower necklaces but to many incense burning in the temples are healthy?

Quote
The Story of Sumedha and Sumitta

Once, when Dipankara Buddha was visiting the town of Rama, a lady by the name of Sumitta brought with her eight bunches of lotus flowers intended for the Buddha. At the same location there was the hermit Sumedha was paying obeisance to the Buddha. Attracted by the hermit demeanor, she gave five lotus flowers to the hermit and she was left with three lotus flowers for herself.

The hermit Sumedha offered five lotus flowers to the Buddha and made his aspiration to become a Buddha in some future time; Sumitta, being attracted to the hermit and hearing what the merit aspiration was, she too offered the three lotus flowers to the Buddha and made her aspiration that she be his soul mate for the rest of their future existences until he became the Buddha.

[url]http://maungpaw.blogspot.com/2006/05/working-of-karma-loka_02.html[/url] ([url]http://maungpaw.blogspot.com/2006/05/working-of-karma-loka_02.html[/url])


I think offering flowers are more old practise and be admited even by Buddha Dipankara and we Buddhist should able to consider and wise enough to sight what kind necessary in this world time.   
Title: Re: Incense smoke hazardous to health: Thai officials
Post by: Spiny Norman on September 02, 2011, 06:48:41 am
The ministry is recommending that temples avoid lighting the incense in poorly ventilated places, use short joss sticks rather than long ones and quickly discard ashes from burned incense, the statement said.

Sounds good to me.  Incense always makes me snuffle and sneeze and I don't much like it, especially when I'm trying to meditate.   :wink1:

Spiny
Title: Re: Incense smoke hazardous to health: Thai officials
Post by: CSEe on September 02, 2011, 06:53:19 am
Great infomation,
thks
CSEe
Title: Re: Incense smoke hazardous to health: Thai officials
Post by: t on September 02, 2011, 07:06:49 am
Anything in excess is hazardous...including polygamy..  :cheesy:

One stick of incense is hardly a killer right?
Of course there are those who think that the Buddha can be bribed with a truckload of that or that smoking up a temple is as auspicious as a bar joint....  :socool:
Title: Re: Incense smoke hazardous to health: Thai officials
Post by: dhammaseeker51 on September 02, 2011, 08:08:37 am
I can believe it.
Burning incense always makes me cough or get chesty, like smoking a cigarette. I use an oil burner with water and a few drops of my favourite aromatic oil rather than incense, this doesn't seem to have any ill effects.
I suppose now the Health and Safety brigade are in on it we will be seeing health warnings on the packets, along with pictures of diseased organs.

 :bigtears:

with Metta.
   
 
Title: Re: Incense smoke hazardous to health: Thai officials
Post by: Yeshe on September 02, 2011, 11:10:57 am
We've had this topic before, I think, with respect to Indian temples and the pujaris who are inhaling the incense in large amounts.  I doubt if a daily offering would do much harm.

They could switch to evaporating essential oils etc.

Personally, I burn loads of it in offerings, but much of it outside.   

Next thing ya know they'll be telling us that tobacco and cannabis are harmful too!

Title: Re: Incense smoke hazardous to health: Thai officials
Post by: catmoon on September 02, 2011, 08:54:34 pm
Besides the integrity of the people reporting is always in question. Bump up the numbers by a factor of ten or a hundred, who's to know? And hey, it means lots of work for government enforcers and that means big fat budgets.

You can trust a government anti smoking, anti incense zealot about as much as you can trust a fundamentalist to get evolution right.
Title: Re: Incense smoke hazardous to health: Thai officials
Post by: Spiny Norman on September 03, 2011, 01:14:52 am
One stick of incense is hardly a killer right?

Incense is just another bit of Eastern cultural baggage, I'd rather have a nice cup of tea. :teehee:

Spiny
Title: Re: Incense smoke hazardous to health: Thai officials
Post by: Yeshe on September 03, 2011, 01:32:13 am
One stick of incense is hardly a killer right?

Incense is just another bit of Eastern cultural baggage, I'd rather have a nice cup of tea. :teehee:

Spiny

Yes, but it's not an offering to you, so you offer what makes most sense at the time.  The offering bowls, for example,  were based on water for drinking, water for bathing, flowers, incense, light, scented water, food and music.  This is what would be offered to a welcome guest.

Tea.....................comes from where?  LOL :)

One form of offering in TB is to make the Spritual Guide a cup of tea each morning. Add spices or butter to taste. ;)

Of course, it's quite a leap from the risks of clouds of incense in a temple to the risks of small scale home offerings.  I'd put the risk somewhere in the same category as the radon which is going to kill me as I lived in a granite house for years, or the latest folk panics about mobile phones and  low-energy lightbulbs.  That reminds me, I also use oil lamps and put essential oil in the mix - I'm doomed! LOL:)
Title: Re: Incense smoke hazardous to health: Thai officials
Post by: dhammaseeker51 on September 03, 2011, 04:06:49 am
You mean there's a risk from low energy lightbulbs?- EeeeK!!!

 :ishift:

with Metta
Title: Re: Incense smoke hazardous to health: Thai officials
Post by: daimond on September 03, 2011, 05:10:49 am
One stick of incense is hardly a killer right?

Incense is just another bit of Eastern cultural baggage, I'd rather have a nice cup of tea. :teehee:

Spiny

Yes, but it's not an offering to you, so you offer what makes most sense at the time.  The offering bowls, for example,  were based on water for drinking, water for bathing, flowers, incense, light, scented water, food and music.  This is what would be offered to a welcome guest.

Tea.....................comes from where?  LOL :)

One form of offering in TB is to make the Spritual Guide a cup of tea each morning. Add spices or butter to taste. ;)

Of course, it's quite a leap from the risks of clouds of incense in a temple to the risks of small scale home offerings.  I'd put the risk somewhere in the same category as the radon which is going to kill me as I lived in a granite house for years, or the latest folk panics about mobile phones and  low-energy lightbulbs.  That reminds me, I also use oil lamps and put essential oil in the mix - I'm doomed! LOL:)

well i think one stick incense in home altar may be okay, you not offring just the one stick of incense in the home altar there flowers, water / tea, fruits, candy and cake/pastary.

in temple maybe more wise just offring a flowers bucket or necklace of flowers so the polution in the temple no very hazardos to other people or other lay peoples who come.

and  regular the staff in the temple already burn the incense so there no need burn so many many incense.   
Title: Re: Incense smoke hazardous to health: Thai officials
Post by: Yeshe on September 03, 2011, 07:10:44 am
You mean there's a risk from low energy lightbulbs?- EeeeK!!!

 :ishift:

with Metta


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-506347/An-energy-saving-bulb-gone--evacuate-room-now.html (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-506347/An-energy-saving-bulb-gone--evacuate-room-now.html)
Title: Re: Incense smoke hazardous to health: Thai officials
Post by: dhammaseeker51 on September 03, 2011, 01:58:00 pm
Ye Gods,
the health and safety brigade are everywhere and chomping on the bit.
When we were kids we used to get games with mercury in them. We'd take the mercury out and run it around in our hands for fun.
Lead pipes brought water into our homes for how many hundreds of years.
Do the health and safety people not realise we've got to die of something!

with Metta
Title: Re: Incense smoke hazardous to health: Thai officials
Post by: Spiny Norman on September 05, 2011, 08:20:41 am
Tea.....................comes from where?  LOL :)

Real tea comes from the East End of London. :teehee:

Cockney Spiny
Title: Re: Incense smoke hazardous to health: Thai officials
Post by: Yeshe on September 05, 2011, 12:24:45 pm
Tea.....................comes from where?  LOL :)

Real tea comes from the East End of London. :teehee:

Cockney Spiny

Rubbish!  Yorkshire is the home of real teas as fed to real builders with real ass cracks on show! LOL :)
Title: Re: Incense smoke hazardous to health: Thai officials
Post by: Yeshe on September 05, 2011, 12:31:14 pm
Ye Gods,
the health and safety brigade are everywhere and chomping on the bit.
When we were kids we used to get games with mercury in them. We'd take the mercury out and run it around in our hands for fun.
Lead pipes brought water into our homes for how many hundreds of years.
Do the health and safety people not realise we've got to die of something!

with Metta

 :teehee:

Takes me back to chemistry lessons at school where we did the same, did taste tests of different diluted acids, lit up the gas taps, and caused incredible purple clouds with acid and potassium permanganate.

We even had a small cannon which was built in metalwork and fired ball bearings with the usual sugar and weedkiller mix.

Those were the days when men were men and boys were boys and neither had a clue about girls as it was a single sex school.   So they let us blow things up! LOL :)

Title: Re: Incense smoke hazardous to health: Thai officials
Post by: dhammaseeker51 on September 05, 2011, 03:08:22 pm
Yeah but cowboy builders drink coffee without sugar or milk!

 :wink1:

with Metta
Title: Re: Incense smoke hazardous to health: Thai officials
Post by: daimond on June 05, 2012, 09:24:19 am
(http://[url=http://distilleryimage5.instagram.com/e6fef8a8af2211e1a8761231381b4856_7.jpg]http://distilleryimage5.instagram.com/e6fef8a8af2211e1a8761231381b4856_7.jpg[/url])

(http://[url=http://distilleryimage4.instagram.com/6d9f1f04af2411e180c9123138016265_7.jpg]http://distilleryimage4.instagram.com/6d9f1f04af2411e180c9123138016265_7.jpg[/url])

I tested this "electrik oil burner "  and hope, one day replace the incense in my altar.

Title: Re: Incense smoke hazardous to health: Thai officials
Post by: Lobster on September 01, 2012, 11:24:42 pm
Depends on the incense
some are healing and rejuvenating.
http://incensemaking.com/recipes/magical-healing.htm (http://incensemaking.com/recipes/magical-healing.htm)
Oil burners and fragrant flower petals and air conditioning.  :grouphug:
Buddhism comes West and improves peoples well being . . .
Title: Re: Incense smoke hazardous to health: Thai officials
Post by: Q on September 02, 2012, 04:01:52 am
I don't blame them for bringing up this topic... I've been to cave temples that prohibit visitors from lighting incense in the cave because it damaged and cause the cave walls to erode, what more to say if we breath in this smoke on a daily basis.

However, there is an alternative to this. There are good quality incense that have medicinal properties such as the ones sold in nepal or taiwan. They are more expensive but aren't we suppose to offer only the best to the Buddhas? Personally, I offer the ones that are made of natural sources such as sandalwood, they smell good and do not pollute the environment =)
Title: Re: Incense smoke hazardous to health: Thai officials
Post by: former monk john on September 02, 2012, 09:01:42 am
a lot of people have the mistaken idea that theres something inherently worse about second hand smoke from a cigarette vs from a fireplace, incense, or marijuana, actually just about any natural plant, when burned produces smoke that is carcinogenic, contains carbon monoxide, etc etc, marlboro cigarettes contain dried lettuce for flavour and its just as bad for you as the tobacco

three sticks of incense probably produces just as much potentially harmful smoke as second hand smoke from one or two cigarettes, tobacco is a natural plant just like sandalwood, so you cant use the arguement that incense is natural, however i think the danger of low level exposure to second hand smoke is overrated

although in a large unventilated temple with tons of incense burning its probably about as dangerous as having dinner in the old days in a smoking restaurant, and for the monks, as bad as it was for the waitresses working in the smoking restaurant

ps just because an incense is marketed as having medicinal properties doesnt mean its smoke is any less toxic, cigarettes were originally recommended by doctors as having medicinal properties, so was heroin and cocaine, for that matter!!
Title: Re: Incense smoke hazardous to health: Thai officials
Post by: dhammaseeker51 on September 02, 2012, 12:39:43 pm
It's why I only ever buy organic incense.

with Metta
Title: Re: Incense smoke hazardous to health: Thai officials
Post by: former monk john on September 02, 2012, 01:20:33 pm
organic cigarettes are good, to!!!
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