Safety Measures When Burning Incense

Incense can lift the spirits and enhance a spiritual experience. It can also clean the air and cover disagreeable odors.


Fragrance comes from ground-up organic materials like wood, bark, leaves, resins, and essential oils. The combustible base is shaped into sticks, coils, or cones.

In many cultures, burning incense is considered to be a spiritual and ritual activity. It can also be an effective way to control indoor air pollution and keep odors at bay. However, the smoke emitted by incense contains particulate matter and other organic compounds that can be inhaled and cause health problems. These pollutants have been linked to respiratory diseases and cancer. In addition, they are known to irritate the eyes and skin and cause respiratory distress. Some studies have also shown that exposure to incense smoke can lead to oxidative stress and alteration of the DNA in cells, which can cause tumors.

To make incense, one end of a stick is soaked in adhesive materials and then coated with a mixture of fragrance, wood powder and herbal powders. The result is then pressed into shapes like cones, coils and coreless sticks. The finished incense is then dried before it is ready for use. Some incense manufacturers also use plant-based binding powders made from viscous material found in the bark of tabu-no-ki or Machilus thunbergii trees. These plants act as a natural binder and are mixed with the fragrance, herbal and wood powders to create the incense.

When incense is burned, it releases a variety of contaminants into the air including particulate matter, volatile organic compounds and gases such as musk ketones, musk xylenes and musk ambrette, as well as aldehydes and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. These pollutants can be inhaled and absorbed through the skin and into the blood stream. They can be toxic to the liver, kidney and lungs, as well as irritating to the eye and skin.

The dangers of incense burning are a concern for children, the elderly and people with respiratory sensitivities. Exposure to incense smoke can also trigger asthma symptoms. Using less toxic types of incense, such as those that contain all-natural ingredients and no synthetic fragrances, can help to avoid these hazards.

It is also a good idea to choose incense that only burns for a short time. Using a charcoal disk meant for incense is also helpful, since it allows you to burn raw materials such as chunks of resin or ground up herbs.


Using incense is a lovely way to freshen the air and bring a nice aroma into your home but like anything that burns it can emit dangerous pollutants into the environment. These emissions can have a negative impact on human health and cause a variety of conditions including asthma, respiratory irritation and even cancer. The emissions produced by incense include particulate matter, volatile organic compounds and several poisonous gases including carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides.

Indirect-burning incense refers to resins or mixtures of aromatic materials that do not require burning to release their fragrance. Instead, heated coals are placed in a heat resistant vessel and pieces of the resin or resin mixture are placed directly next to them, releasing their fragrance as they heat up. Indirect-burning incense typically does not produce a lot of smoke but the use of any type of incense should be done carefully to avoid exposure to hazardous fumes and particulate matter.

Many people use incense as a way to purify and cleanse the space they live in spiritually. In this practice the smoke from the incense is said to remove bad energy and bad spirits from the area where it is burned. It is also thought that the scent released by the incense is a reminder of God and can aid in achieving higher states of consciousness.

Research has found that the small particulate matter in the smoke emitted from incense may be carcinogenic, however this is a very generalized study and does not take into account all the different types of incense available. It has also been found that inhaling incense smoke does not increase cancer risks as much as inhaling second hand cigarette smoke.

One common method for extinguishing incense is to dip it into a pot of water. This technique can be a little messy and is not recommended if there are children or pets in the house who could accidentally ingest the ash or stick. A safer method is to use a designated snuffer to put out the incense and allow it to cool completely before disposing of it. Alternatively, you can gently tap the end of the incense on a heat-proof surface to extinguish it.


Incense sticks and cones have been used for thousands of years for both spiritual and decorative purposes. It is believed that when the fragrant smoke of incense passes through a space, it removes stagnant or malevolent energies and creates a clean and sacred environment for spiritual connections and experiences.

As with any burning product, disposing of incense safely is a must. This is because embers left unattended can burn carpets, curtains and other flammable materials. This can cause fire hazards and can be extremely dangerous to your family’s health.

To dispose of incense safely, you should first vacuum up as much ash and debris as possible. If there is any ash that won’t come off with the vacuum, you should use a broom to sweep it up into a plastic trash bag. Once you have collected all of the ash, you should put it in your outdoor garbage can. Be sure to line your trash can with a plastic liner, as the ashes can be very hot and could ignite the contents of the trash can.

Incense ash is also a good source of nutrients for plants and can be used as a natural pesticide. By mixing the ash with water, you can create a solution that can be sprayed on your plants to protect them from insects and diseases. You can also add a small amount of the ash to your compost pile to provide valuable nutrients for your garden.

Another safe method for disposing of incense is to place the burning end of the stick or cone into a bowl of sand or water. This will extinguish the embers and allow you to save the rest of the stick or cone for future use. However, it is important to make sure that the incense is completely out and cooled before putting it in the bowl of sand or water. Hastily tossing it into the trash can can result in a house fire. If you’re worried about the risk of house fires, consider getting a Scent Island holder for your incense. This holder collects all of the ash into one tray, making it easy to dispose of and keeping your home clean.


When burning resin incense, you need to take a few safety measures into consideration. Always make sure that you keep the incense away from anything flammable, and never leave it unattended while it is burning. Also, it is important to always place the incense in a holder that is made of material that is safe for this purpose, such as metal or ceramic, and make sure that the holder is stable so it won’t fall over. Finally, avoid spraying flammable aerosols or substances near the incense, as this can cause it to ignite.

Resin incense is usually burnt on charcoal tablets that are specially designed for this purpose. These tablets are typically made from compressed charcoal, which is able to withstand higher temperatures and longer burning times than regular charcoal, so they pose fewer risks of fire. However, if you are using regular charcoal, you should be sure to use it in a very secure holder that will not tip over or fall off the edge of the burner.

You should also ensure that you are not burning the incense near any flammable or combustible materials, including candles and other incense, and that the room is well ventilated. This is because the smoke produced by burning incense can irritate sensitive people’s respiratory systems and cause other health problems, such as asthma.

Regardless of whether you are using resin incense or charcoal-based incense, it is important to be aware that inhaling the smoke from burning incense can cause health problems. This is because when people inhale the fumes of burning incense, they are actually inhaling a complex mixture that includes both particulate and gas products.

It is therefore difficult to single out the effects on human health caused by the incense particles themselves. However, epidemiological studies have shown that exposure to air pollutants can result in a number of health problems, such as mortality and respiratory symptoms. Therefore, it is important to minimize your exposure to these pollutants by burning incense in a properly ventilated area and by using fragrances that are low in oil content.