FaithWorld

Now they say incense could cause cancer

August 26, 2008

A man prays at the Yong He Gong (Tibetan Lama) Temple in Beijing, 7 July 2008/David GrayThere was a report last May saying researchers had found incense was a mind-altering substance. Now comes news of another scientific report saying it could cause cancer. Given its ceremonial role in several religions, this attention to incense is made for a blog like this one.

These reports leave an interesting question unanswered, however — why are scientists studying this now? Is there an upswing in incense burning around the world? Could this be linked to the Catholic Church’s plans to revive limited use of traditional liturgies? It’s hard to imagine that scientists would be watching religious trends. Is this just a coincidence?

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