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May as well dump it in the Potomac and get a 9-5 job now. Thai Incense is special Incense in the sense that it is more than just aromatics, rather, is used for prayer to specific deities, and which has a vast variety of Thai Incense aromas to cater for different deities or purposes. Thai Incense is mostly made by hand or with ethnic methods in small household Incense Factories in the countryside of Thailand, by local Thai Incense farmers.

The main ingredients used in the making of Thai incenses in Thailand, are wood powders, sandal wood, flower pollens, extracts and resins, glutinous incense powder, fragrance powders, dye colors, and perfumed oils. Dong Deang village is currently the largest area for making incense and joss stick in Thailand. Below you can see some Thailand Incense making methods in a small Thai Incense factory in Lampun, Thailand. Incense and Joss Stick Making in Small Household Factories, Thailand. S Siripanich 1,2 , W Siriwong 1,3 , P Keawrueang 1 , M Borjan 4,5 , M Robson 3,4,5. 1 College of Public Health Science, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand. 2 Bureau of Epidemiology, Ministry of Public Health, Thailand. 3 Thai Fogarty ITREOH Center, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand. 4 School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, USA. 5 UMDNJ School of Public Health, Piscataway, NJ, USA.

Wattasit Siriwong, PhD, Assistant Professor, College of Public Health Science, Chulalongkorn University, Phayathai Rd. Background: Incense and joss stick are generally used in the world. Most products were made in small household factories. There are many environmental and occupational hazards in these factories. Objective: To evaluate the workplace environmental and occupational hazards in small household incense and joss stick factories in Roi-Et, Thailand. Methods: Nine small household factories in rural areas of Roi-Et, Thailand, were studied. Dust concentration and small aerosol particles were counted through real time exposure monitoring. The inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES) was used for quantitative measurement of heavy metal residue in incense products. Results: Several heavy metals were found in dissolved dye and joss sticks. Rolling and shaking processes produced the highest concentration of dust and aerosols. Only 3.9 % of female workers used personal protection equipment. Conclusion: Dust and chemicals were major threats in small household incense and joss stick factories in Thailand. Increasing awareness towards using personal protection equipment and emphasis on elimination of environmental workplace hazards should be considered to help the workers of this industry. Keywords: Environment; Occupational exposure; Dust; Aerosols; Workplace; Risk assessment; Thailand; Incense; Joss stick. I ncense and joss stick have been used for various rituals throughout the world. The Egyptians and Babylonians started using incense for praying and religious ceremonies around 586–538 BC. Both the ancient Greeks and Romans used incense to drive away demons and to attract the gods. Then, Chinese and Japanese used incense sticks of various types at different occasions. 1 Nowadays, incense are made from a variety of perfumes and chemicals, and extensively used for room deodorizers and repellents. Most of the incense products come from China, Vietnam, India, Cambodia, Bangladesh, and Thailand. The northern and northeastern parts of Thailand are among the largest centers for incense and joss stick production. Incense sticks are normally made in small household factories; the process needs no advanced technology. In Thailand, many rural areas are suitable for incense making especially for incense drying. 2 The main ingredients used in making incense are wood powders including coarse sawdust, sandal wood, glutinous incense powder, fragrance powders, dye colors, and perfume oils. The small incense factories in the villages are usually operated in or near the house. Wood dust, the major hazard produced from the process, diffuses around the house and contaminates the environment.

The dust may affect the health of workers and their family members residing in the house. Previous studies showed that chronic exposure to wood dust can affect the respiratory tract and cause asthma, and skin and eye irritation. 3-7 Occupational exposure to wood is a well-established cause of various respiratory diseases and nasal cancer. 8-12 Moreover, numerous chemicals used in production of joss sticks—stains and perfumes—may affect the workers' health. For example dermal exposure to heavy metal residues such as lead, cadmium, chromium, manganese, etc , which is abundant in the chemical compounds has deleterious health effects.

13 Long-term exposure to heavy metals has many multisystem effects such as headache, fatigue, arthralgia, abdominal discomfort, anemia, peripheral neuropathy, etc . 20,21 Furthermore, perfumes used in the process are generally essential oils consisting of aromatics compounds that can cause asthmatic reactions, headache, dizziness, nausea, etc .

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