22 November 2004


Apparently this is what a new study is saying. Church air may be carcinogenic.

The air you breathe inside a church could be doing you more harm than the air beside a major congested road, say researchers. Church air seems to have alarming levels of polycyclic hydrocarbons, these are carcinogenic. In fact, levels of polycyclic hydrocarbons in churches were found to be higher than busy roads (roads with more than 45,000 cars going through per day).

This Dutch study also found very high levels of PM10s (very small solid pollutants) in church air. The levels were almost twenty times higher than the limits set by the European Union environmental agencies.

You can read about this study in the European Respiratory Journal.

The study was carried out by researchers from Maastricht University, The Netherlands.

[Medical News Today, Nov 20 2004]

The sources of pollutants and carcinogens in the study were church candles burned for nine hours and incense.

High levels of PM10s, which were found in the church air studied, are also known as fine particulate matter, and these are microscopic material so small they can get lodged in the deeper parts of your lungs and from there initiate cancer development.

As Christmas approaches, many people will be trooping to Churches for the traditional Simbang Gabi, otherwise known as midnight or dawn masses, in preparation for the Christmas Day celebration.

Maybe this study can help explain why certain non-smokers still get lung cancer.

This yuletide season, go to church and pray, but don't inhale too much church air, especially when there's incense and candles burning around you, ok?

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