Incense and Joss Stick Making in Small Household Factories, Thailand

S Siripanich, W Siriwong, P Keawrueang, M Borjan, M Robson


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. Those included barium, manganese, and lead. 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.


Environment; Occupational exposure; Dust; Aerosols; Workplace; Risk assessment; Thailand; Incense; Joss stick

 pISSN: 2008-6520
 eISSN: 2008-6814

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