Characterization of chemical components and bioreactivity of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) during incense burning

K. H. Lui, Benjamin A.Musa Bandowe, Steven Sai Hang Ho, Hsiao Chi Chuang, Jun Ji Cao, Kai Jen Chuang, S. C. Lee, Di HU, K. F. Ho*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

60 Citations (Scopus)


The chemical and bioreactivity properties of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) emitted during controlled burning of different brands of incense were characterized. Incenses marketed as being environmentally friendly emitted lower mass of PM2.5 particulates than did traditional incenses. However, the environmentally friendly incenses produced higher total concentrations of non-volatile polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and some oxygenated polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (OPAHs). Human alveolar epithelial A549 cells were exposed to the collected PM2.5, followed by determining oxidative stress and inflammation. There was moderate to strong positive correlation (R > 0.60, p < 0.05) between selected PAHs and OPAHs against oxidative-inflammatory responses. Strong positive correlation was observed between interleukin 6 (IL-6) and summation of total Group B2 PAHs/OPAHs (Σ7PAHs/ΣOPAHs). The experimental data indicate that emissions from the environmentally friendly incenses contained higher concentrations of several PAH and OPAH compounds than did traditional incense. Moreover, these PAHs and OPAHs were strongly correlated with inflammatory responses. The findings suggest a need to revise existing regulation of such products.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)524-532
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2016

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

User-Defined Keywords

  • Carbonyls
  • Incense
  • OPAHs
  • Oxidative stress
  • PAHs


Dive into the research topics of 'Characterization of chemical components and bioreactivity of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) during incense burning'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this