Incense in churches 'exceeds EU dust limits'

8th August 2006, Comments 0 comments

8 August 2006, ESSEN, GERMANY - A scientist who studied smoke in Catholic churches said Monday the "particulate matter" released from burning incense exceeds European Union safety standards for airborne dust. Stephan Weber, 32, said however that candles, which are lit every Sunday, gave off only minimal smoke. The climatology scientist at the University of Duisberg-Essen in Germany said particles were most concentrated for short periods on a few holy days, when incense powder is burned on charcoal during m

8 August 2006

ESSEN, GERMANY - A scientist who studied smoke in Catholic churches said Monday the "particulate matter" released from burning incense exceeds European Union safety standards for airborne dust.

Stephan Weber, 32, said however that candles, which are lit every Sunday, gave off only minimal smoke.

The climatology scientist at the University of Duisberg-Essen in Germany said particles were most concentrated for short periods on a few holy days, when incense powder is burned on charcoal during mass.

He put his particle counters in a church in Essen for two weeks over Christmas, when there are several services with incense.

The readings peaked at 220 micrograms of particulate matter per cubic metre of air, more than four times the official limit of 50 micrograms. Weber, who is himself Catholic, said he was not a doctor, but had heard that this might be a strain for asthma sufferers.

Weber said he did the research for fun and curiosity and was not trying to suggest that going to church was dangerous to health.

Internet: http://pubs.acs.org/subscribe/journals/esthag-w/2006/jul/science/pt_religious.html

DPA

Subject: German news

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