|Year : 2014 | Volume
| Issue : 2 | Page : 68-73
Monitoring of indoor particulate matter during burning of mosquito coil, incense sticks and dhoop
Raj Kumar, Nitesh Gupta, Deepak Kumar, Anil Kumar Mavi, Kamal Singh, Manoj Kumar
Department of Respiratory Allergy, Asthma and Applied Immunology, National Centre of Respiratory Allergy, Vallabhbhai Patel Chest Institute, University of Delhi, New Delhi, India
|Date of Web Publication||15-Sep-2014|
Department of Respiratory Allergy and Applied Immunology, Vallabhbhai Patel Chest Institute, University of Delhi, New Delhi - 110 007
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
Background: Indoor combustion source, like incenses, are commonly used for aesthetic and religious purposes in various indoor as well as outdoor environments. The combustion leads to the production of a large amount of smoke, which can pose a health risk due to inhalation exposure of particulate matter (PM). Objective: Monitoring of PM (PM 10 , PM 2.5 , and PM 1 ) during the preburning, burning and postburning phases of incenses (agarbatti and dhoop) and mosquito coil in the indoor environment. Materials and Methods: The monitoring of PM was carried out using the Grimm Portable Laser Aerosol Spectrometer and dust monitor model 1.108/1.109. The substances used were mosquito coil, incense (sandal), incense (floral sticks) and dhoop. The data were analyzed using the SPSS statistical package version 14.0 for windows (SPSS, Chicago, IL, USA), using one-way analysis of variance to compare the PM 10 , PM 2.5 and PM 1.0 concentration levels. Results: The mean concentrations of PM 10 (1879.7 μ/m 3 ), PM 2.5 (1775.4 μ/m 3 ) and PM 1 (1300.1 μ/m 3 ) during burning phase were highest for dhoop. The mean concentrations of PM 10 , PM 2.5 and PM 1 during burning of mosquito coil were 259.2 μ/m 3 , 232.4 μ/m 3 and 214.0 μ/m 3 respectively. The burning of incense (flora) had PM 10 (854.1 μ/m 3 ), PM 2.5 (779.8 μ/m 3 ) and PM 1 (699.8 μ/m 3 ), which were higher, in comparison to burning of incense (sandal). The particulate emission during the burning of dhoop (PM 10, PM 2.5, PM 1 ) was significantly higher (P < 0.05) than incense (sandal and flora) and mosquito coil. The concentrations of PM 10 , PM 2.5 and PM 1 even during postburning phase were significantly higher for dhoop in comparison to other three products, resulting in prolonged exposure even after the cessation of burning phase. Conclusion: The study suggests burning of dhoop, incense sticks and mosquito coil in the indoor environment emit quiet higher respirable PM, which may accumulate on prolonged exposure and lead to respiratory illnesses.
Keywords: Incense sticks, indoor particulate matter, mosquito coil
|How to cite this article:|
Kumar R, Gupta N, Kumar D, Mavi AK, Singh K, Kumar M. Monitoring of indoor particulate matter during burning of mosquito coil, incense sticks and dhoop. Indian J Allergy Asthma Immunol 2014;28:68-73
|How to cite this URL:|
Kumar R, Gupta N, Kumar D, Mavi AK, Singh K, Kumar M. Monitoring of indoor particulate matter during burning of mosquito coil, incense sticks and dhoop. Indian J Allergy Asthma Immunol [serial online] 2014 [cited 2017 Apr 30];28:68-73. Available from: http://www.ijaai.in/text.asp?2014/28/2/68/140770
| Introduction|| |
Indoor combustion source, like incenses, are commonly used for aesthetic and religious purposes. Incense is available in various forms including sticks, joss sticks, cones, coils, powders, rope, rocksy charcoal, and smudge bundles. In developing countries, incenses are burned inside homes as well as in public places including stores, shopping malls, and places of worship. Mosquito coil is widely known as an efficient mosquito repellent. On burning of a mosquito coil, the insecticides evaporate with the smoke preventing the mosquito from entering the room, while combustion of the remaining materials (organic fillers, binders, dyes, and other additives) generates large amounts of submicrometer particles and gaseous pollutants.
The respirable suspended particulate matter (RSPM) is of great significance as they may significantly affect the health of individuals.  The Environmental Protection Agency (2006) regulates particulate matter (PM) as PM 10 , PM 2.5 and PM 1.0  PM 10 , particle <10 μm, can penetrate the defense mechanisms of the upper and middle regions of the respiratory tract, while PM 2.5 particle <2.5 μm, is transported into the lower pulmonary system. The 24 h mean PM level as per World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines for air quality is 25 μg/m 3 for PM 2.5 and 50 μg/m 3 for PM 10 (particles <10 μm).  However, there is no standard reference value for PM 2.5 levels in indoor air pollution. On extensive review of literature, there is sparse data on indoor PM 10 , PM 2.5 and PM 1.0 levels on burning of mosquito coil, incense stick and dhoop.
Despite the evidence of potential adverse health effects of mosquito coil smoke and burning of incense, large populations in developing countries still use them in their daily lives. The objective of the present study is to measure the concentrations of PM 10 (<10 μm), PM 2.5 (<2.5 μm), and PM 1.0 (<1.0 μm) in the indoor environment using mosquito coil, incense (sandal and flora sticks) and dhoop.
| Materials and methods|| |
The instrument was placed in a 14 ft × 10 ft × 8 ft sized single room and having a 4 ft × 1 ft window area open for the dispersion of PM and a fan is on at 110 rpm speed. There were no people residing in the room. The monitoring of PM was carried out using the Grimm Portable Laser Aerosol (GRIMM Aerosol Technik GmbH & Co. KG, Germany) Spectrometer and dust monitor model 1.108/1.109 measuring instrument [Figure 1]. The substances used for studying the PM were burned mosquito coil, incense (sandal), incense (flora sticks) and dhoop [Figure 1].
|Figure 1: The Grimm Portable Laser Aerosol Spectrometer and dust monitor along with various incense objects|
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The principle of measuring of PM of Grimm Portable Laser Aerosol Spectrometer and dust monitor model 1.108/1.109 based on the sample air is led with flow rate 1.2 l/min directly into the measuring cell via the aerosol inlet. The particles in the sample air are being detected by light scattering inside the measuring cell. The scattering light pulse of every single particle is being counted and the intensity of light of its scattering light signal is classified to a certain particle size. The mean room PM concentration (PM 10 , PM 2.5 and PM 1.0 ) was measured before burning, during burning and after burning phase of all the four substances.
All data analysis was performed using SPSS statistical package version 14.0 for windows (SPSS, Chicago, IL, USA). One-way analysis of variance was applied to compare the PM 10 , PM 2.5 and PM 1.0 concentration levels.
| Results|| |
The PM 10 , PM 2.5 and PM 1.0 concentration levels were measured for mosquito coil, incense (sandal), incense (flora sticks) and dhoop. These concentration levels were measured before burning, during burning and after burning phase of all the four substances uniformly [Table 1] and [Figure 2]a-d. The levels of PM were recorded for 1 h before the beginning of burning phase. However, the duration of burning phase for mosquito coil, incense (sandal), incense (flora sticks) and dhoop was 4, 1, 1 and 2 h respectively. The recording of PM levels continued for 1 h after the burning phase was completed. The mean concentrations of PM 10 , PM 2.5 and PM 1.0 during the three phases for all four substances are depicted in [Table 1]. The peak emission gradient of PM 10 , PM 2.5 and PM 1.0 for all four substances is described in [Table 2].
|Figure 2: (a) Monitoring of particulate matter (PM) during all three phases of burning of dhoop. (b) Monitoring of PM during all three phases of burning of incense sticks (flora). (c) Monitoring of PM during all three phases of burning of mosquito coil. (d) Monitoring of PM during all three phases of burning of incense sticks (sandal)|
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|Table 1: Monitoring of PM during burning of mosquito coil, agarbatti and dhoop|
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|Table 2: Peak emission of particulates and PM fraction due to burning of mosquito coil, agarbatti (sandal and flora) and dhoop|
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The statistical analysis showed no significant difference between mosquito coil, incense (sandal), incense (flora sticks) and dhoop for PM 10 , PM 2.5 and PM 1.0 concentrations during the preburning phase [Figure 3]a-c. During the burning phase, the PM 10 , PM 2.5 and PM 1.0 concentrations were highest for dhoop, followed by incense (flora sticks), mosquito coil and incense (sandal) in decreasing order, the difference being statistically significant (P < 0.05) [Figure 4]a-c. Similarly, in after burning phase, PM 10 , PM 2.5 and PM 1.0 concentrations were maximum for dhoop, followed by incense (flora sticks), mosquito coil and incense (sandal) in a decreasing order, the difference being statistically significant (P < 0.05) [Figure 5]a-c. The results concluded that dhoop burning has the highest emission of the PM and incense (sandal) the least.
|Figure 3: (a) Particulate matter (PM10) concentrations during preburning phase. (b) PM2.5 concentrations during preburning phase. (c) PM1 concentrations during preburning phase|
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|Figure 4: (a) Particulate matter (PM10) concentrations during burning phase. (b) PM2.5 concentrations during burning phase. (c) PM1 concentrations during burning phase|
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|Figure 5: (a) Particulate matter (PM10) concentrations during postburning phase. (b) PM2.5 concentrations during postburning phase. (c) PM1 concentrations during postburning phase|
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| Discussion|| |
Mosquito coils are frequently burned indoors in Asia, Africa and to a limited extent in other parts of the world, including the United States (WHO, 2005). In 1996, the WHO report estimated the worldwide annual consumption of mosquito coils to burn approximately 29 billion pieces. In a study in Taiwanese households, the prevalence of burning mosquito coils is 45% (WHO, 1998). The consumers usually use mosquito coils for at least several months every year, cumulative effects from long-term exposure to the coil smoke may also be a concern. Despite the fact that mosquito coil smoke may have many potential adverse health effects, large populations in developing countries still use mosquito coils in their daily lives.
In epidemiologic studies, long-term exposure to mosquito coil smoke has been shown to induce asthma and persistent wheeze in children. , In a study from Italy,  the total PM 10 , PM 2.5 and PM 1.0 concentration for one hour burning period of mosquito coil were 169 ± 4.01 μg/m 3 , 14.8 ± 3.68 μg/m 3 and 14.4 ± 3.74 μg/m 3 respectively. The study also compared PM concentrations during burning of mosquito coil to incense stick and candle. The study showed the burning of mosquito coil had least PM concentration. The studied hypothesized it to be due to mosquito coil's smoldering combustion.
In the present study, the mean concentrations of PM 10 , PM 2.5 and PM 1.0 for mosquito coil during 4 h of burning were 352.5, 268.5 and 259.2 μg/m 3 respectively. These concentrations were significantly lower in comparison to burning of dhoop and incense (floral) in a similar environment.
Studies have indicated exposure to incense smoke may be linked to the occurrence of asthma, , mutagenesis  and cancers  in the exposed individuals. Preston-Martin et al.  reported an increased risk of childhood brain tumors in children with maternal contact with nitrosamine-containing substances such as burning incense. A wide variety of substances used to produce incense includes resins (such as frankincense and myrrh), spices, aromatic wood and bark, herbs, seeds, roots, flowers, essential oils, and synthetic substitute chemicals used in the perfume industry. The incense burning generates a large amount of particles, over an extended period (e.g. years of incense usage). Thus habitual incense use increases the exposure to respirable-size particles.
Incense sticks have a base, often a slender piece of wood or bamboo, to which incense compounds are attached. Cones taper to a point on top for easy ignition and produce a greater amount of smoke as they burn down to the larger diameter bottom. The current study used two types of incense sticks, one containing sandal and other had flora; whereas the dhoop used was conical in shape.
A study conducted by Chao et al.  at eight residences in Hong Kong, the peak concentration of RSPM at one site with incense burning was 1850 μg/m 3 when ventilation was poor. This level was substantially higher than Hong Kong's annual-limit guideline for indoor RSPM of 55 μg/m 3 . In a similar study by Tung et al.  of indoor particulate levels in 50 Hong Kong apartments, the mean PM 10 level were 96.6 μg/m 3 with smoking or incense burning which was 23% higher than the mean level found for all of the apartments.
In a study by Jetter et al.,  the burning of the cone for 44 min produced a peak concentration of PM 2.5 was 4.0 mg/m 3 while the burning of the incense stick for 43 min, peak concentration of PM 2.5 was 0.085 mg/m 3 . The study concluded that the use of incense can substantially increase the exposure to potentially harmful fine PM. The current study observed significantly higher levels of mean PM 10 , PM 2.5 and PM 1.0 for the burning of dhoop in comparison to incense and mosquito coils. The present study also observed higher levels of mean PM 10 , PM 2.5 and PM 1.0 levels for floral incense in comparison to sandal incense sticks. In a study by Stabile et al.,  three different fragrances of incense sticks (freesia, citronella and church), produced RSPM of different concentrations. The total PM 2.5 and PM1.0 concentrations were highest for freesia incense while the PM 10 level was highest for citronella incense stick.
The factors increasing the risk from PM are long exposure duration, inadequate room ventilation, small size of the room, long burning time and high-emission rates. Lung et al.  evaluated the contribution of incense burning to indoor PM 10 and particle-bound polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons under the closed and ventilated conditions. The PM 10 concentrations were 723 μg/m 3 and 178 μg/m 3 under closed and ventilated conditions respectively; the concentrations were elevated for at least 6 h under closed condition. The findings of the current study also illustrate similar pattern and thus supports the fact that burning of various incense substances leads to higher RSPM inside closed environments. The clinical impact of higher RSPM particles from burning of various incense objects, as a causative agent of respiratory illness, needs further evaluation.
| Conclusion|| |
The study suggests burning of dhoop, incense sticks and mosquito coil in the indoor environment emit quiet higher respirable PM, which may accumulate on prolonged exposure. The households should have better ventilation in order to avoid build of the PM. Thus, residing in such a higher particulate concentration may lead to serious respiratory health concerns.
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[Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3], [Figure 4], [Figure 5]
[Table 1], [Table 2]