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Title: Physical characteristics of nanoparticles emitted from incense smoke
Authors: See, S.W.
Balasubramanian, R. 
Man Joshi, U.
Keywords: Combustion
Emission rate
Fast mobility particle sizer (FMPS)
Indoor air quality
Number concentration
Particulate matter
Size distribution
Ultrafine particles
Issue Date: Jan-2007
Citation: See, S.W., Balasubramanian, R., Man Joshi, U. (2007-01). Physical characteristics of nanoparticles emitted from incense smoke. Science and Technology of Advanced Materials 8 (1-2) : 25-32. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Incense is habitually burned in various religious settings ranging from the Eastern temples to the Western churches and in residential homes of their devotees, representing one of the most significant sources of combustion-derived particulate matter in indoor air. Incense smoke has been known to be associated with adverse health effects, which could be due to the release of the submicron-sized particles, including ultrafine and nanoparticles. However, there is currently a lack of information available in the literature on the emission rates of particles from incense smoke in terms of their particle number, a metric generally regarded as a better indicator of health risks rather than the particle mass. In this study, real-time characterization of the size distribution and number concentration of sub-micrometer-sized particles (5.6-560 nm) emitted from incense smoke was made, for the first time, for four different brands of sandalwood and aloeswood incense sticks commonly used by different religious groups. In addition, the respective emission rates were determined on hourly and mass basis based on mass balance equations. The measurements showed that the particle emission rates ranged from 5.10×1012 to 1.42×1013 h-1 or 3.66×1012 to 1.23×1013 g-1 and that the peak diameters varied from 93.1 to 143.3 nm. Airborne particles in the nanometer range (5.6-50 nm), in the ultrafine range (50-100 nm) and in the accumulation mode range (100-560 nm) accounted for 1% to 6%, 16% to 55% and 40% to 60% of the total particle counts, respectively, depending on the brand of incense sticks. To assess the potential health threat due to inhalation of particles released from incense burning, the number of particles of different sizes that can be possibly deposited in the respiratory tract were evaluated for an exposed individual based on known deposition fractions in the literature. The findings indicate that incense smoke may pose adverse health effects depending on exposure duration and intensity. © 2006 NIMS and Elsevier Ltd.
Source Title: Science and Technology of Advanced Materials
ISSN: 14686996
DOI: 10.1016/j.stam.2006.11.016
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