Thursday, August 24, 2006

German University Attacks Catholic Worship Citing Environmental Issues

An example of university research dollars being put to their best use - attacking the traditional worship of the Church:
Holy Smoke: Burning incense, candles pollute air in churches

Incense and candles release substantial quantities of pollutants that may harm health, a detailed new study of air quality in a Roman Catholic church suggests.

Even brief exposure to contaminated air during a religious service could be harmful to some people, says atmospheric scientist Stephan Weber of the University of Duisburg-Essen in Essen, Germany. A previous study in the Netherlands indicated that the pollutants in smoke from incense and candles may be more toxic than fine-particle pollution from sources such as vehicle engines.

During the study, incense burners and candles were lit for services at midnight on Christmas Day, on the morning of the following day, and on New Year's Eve. During services on other days, only candles burned.

Concentrations of both types of particles almost doubled during services that used only candles. Simultaneous use of incense and candles raised the concentration of PM10 to about seven times that recorded between services, and PM1 reached about nine times its background abundance.

Particulate-matter concentrations quickly dropped after the candles were extinguished, but remained elevated for 24 hours after simultaneous use of candles and incense, Weber reports in an upcoming Environmental Science & Technology.


At 8/24/2006 9:35 AM, Blogger PB said...

While in college I worked on a Harvard research study in Steubenville, OH testing air quality, if you have ever been to Steubie you know the air quality there is not to good! We didn’t analyze the data but I did assemble and then disassemble the testing materials. A pure white filter would come out pretty tainted after 24 hours of fresh Ohio valley air. But when the participant of the study said they had candles lit in the house, even just one, the pure white filter could come out very black! Interesting…

At 8/24/2006 1:27 PM, Blogger The Unseen One said...

Geez! Don't they have anything better to wring their hands about??? Must be nice to have so little wrong in one's own life!

At 8/24/2006 2:27 PM, Blogger MrsDarwin said...


The Steubenville air quality is notorious. When I was in school there, I used to walk late at night in a neighborhood that commanded a pretty good view of the various steel refineries. They would delay a good portion of their emissions until most people had gone to bed, and you could see a nasty haze over the river and smell it in the air. Ah, school days...

At 8/24/2006 3:43 PM, Blogger Kasia said...

Isn't incense cited as the reason why Our Lady of Czestochowa became known as "The Black Madonna" - because the icon darkened over the years due to incense?

That said, I echo another comment: don't you have anything better to worry about?!

At 8/24/2006 3:51 PM, Blogger PB said...

Ahh, the familiar smell of FUS at night, I remember it well. I stayed one summer and seem to remember it getting much worse with the humidity.

At 8/24/2006 5:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, indeed, with all the serious issues confronting the world today, these guys waste time with this utter twaddle. I feel sorry for them in a way -- guess they don't get out much.


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