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TAIWAN, August 2, 2001: Researchers in Taiwan found that the smoke produced by burning incense is laden with cancer-causing chemicals. Levels of one chemical believed to cause lung cancer were 40 times higher in a badly ventilated temple in Taiwan than in houses where people smoke tobacco. Incense burning also creates more pollution than road traffic at a local intersection. Ta Chang Lin, of the National Cheng Kung University in Tainan told New Scientist magazine: "We truly hope that incense burning brings only spiritual comfort, without any physical discomfort. But there is a potential cancer risk. We just cannot say how serious it is." Inside the temple, they found very high concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), a large group of highly carcinogenic chemicals that are released when certain substances are burnt.