EPA advises the public not to burn large amount of incense sticks and joss paper to reduce emissions of harmful substances
By: Sophia Yang, Taiwan News, Staff Writer
Taipei (Taiwan News) — Taipei’s three-century-old Mengjia Longshan Temple (艋舺龍山寺) has recently
decided to join the government’s green initiative and will trim down the number of incense burners in use at the temple from three to one starting 2017 and to zero in the future.
The number of censers, with which Taiwanese people place their burning incense sticks as an offering, at the temple has been reduced from seven to three since mid-2015 in an effort to cut the levels of harmful PM2.5 particles in the air inside the temple, according to a study published by a physician from National Taiwan University Hospital.
These incense sticks consist of a thin bamboo stick that is coated with a mixture of binding materials and combustible materials, which usually contains sandalwood powder. A study shows that burning incense sticks might represent a risk to human health or even put an increase risk of cancer of respiratory tract.
Located in Taipei’s Wanhua district, the temple was founded in 1738 but has been rebuilt several times. It was dedicated to the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy (Guanyin in Chinese) along with other Taoist deities, including the sea goddess Mazu (媽祖) and the Saint of War Guan Yu (關羽). [FULL STORY]