|LETTER TO THE EDITOR
|Year : 2020 | Volume
| Issue : 8 | Page : 246-247
Risk of cancer due to flower garland for offering in religious practice
Sora Yasri1, Viroj Wiwanitkit2
1 KMT Primary Care Center, Bangkok, Thailand
2 Department of Community Medicine, Dr. D. Y. Patil University, Pune, Maharashtra, India
|Date of Submission||23-May-2018|
|Date of Acceptance||05-Dec-2018|
|Date of Web Publication||02-Aug-2019|
KMT Primary Care Center, Bangkok
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Yasri S, Wiwanitkit V. Risk of cancer due to flower garland for offering in religious practice. J Can Res Ther 2020;16, Suppl S1:246-7
Formaldehyde is a carcinogen that is presently detected in many objects. The contamination is considered a major problem. The most common object that is contaminated by formaldehyde is food. In developing countries with poor legal control, the contamination is commonly observed in local vegetables, fruits, seafood, and meat. In addition, the contamination may also be detected in ambient air in the industrial area. The exposure to indoor formaldehyde due to contaminated objects is also possible, and it is accepted as an important risk factor of cancer. Here, the authors focused on the contamination of formaldehyde in flowers. The contamination in flower garland for offering in religious practice is possible, but the data available in public health are scarce. In this study, the authors assessed the risk of cancer due to flower garland for offering in religious practice.
Here, the calculation for the predicted cancer incidence due to exposure to lower garland for offering in religious practice was performed. The individual lifetime cancer risk was estimated by a standard calculation as used in the previous referenced study. The cancer risk is determined by calculating for individual lifetime cancer risk, which is equal to “concentration of formaldehyde in flower garland for offering in religious practice × lifetime unit risk factor.” In the present study, the situation of formaldehyde contamination in flower garland for offering in religious practice in Thailand was used as a model. The data from a local survey of formaldehyde contamination in flower garland for offering in religious practice (data available at http://www.ocpb.go.th/ewtadmin/ewt/OCPB_WEB/ewt_dl_link.php?nid=3324) were used for calculation in the present study.
For the formaldehyde, the value of unit risk factor is equal to 1.3 × 10−5 m3/μg (http://www.daq.state.nc.us/toxics/risk/). Focusing on the formaldehyde contamination in flower garland for offering in religious practice in the study setting, the local survey found that 62.96% of studied flower garland samples were contaminated and the average detected concentration of formaldehyde is equal to 500 ppb or 620 μg/m3 (conversion factor: 1 ppb = 1.24 μg/m3 at 25°C). Hence, the calculated individual lifetime cancer risk is 5.07 × 10−3.
The contamination of formaldehyde is a significant public health problem. The contamination can be seen in several objects. However, the data regarding the contamination in flower are scarce. In the present study, the authors assessed the cancer risk due to exposure to flower garland for offering in religious practice. In fact, flower garland for offering is a kind of religious practice that is practiced worldwide. In Asia, it is deeply rooted in local communities. In Buddhist communities, every house has a specific Buddhist room and the daily offering of flower garland is the common practice. In addition, the offering is seen in the car. Therefore, if there is a contamination of formaldehyde in flower garland, it is no doubt that exposure of local people can easily occur and it can relate to the risk of cancer.
In fact, the religious objects and cancer risk is a common problem that is little mentioned. The good example is the contamination of heavy metal in joss paper that might cause cancer. According to the present study, it can be concluded that contact with formaldehyde flower garland for offering in religious practice can further induce cancer in an individual who exposes to it. Nevertheless, the cancer risk is considered low comparing to other activities such as using joss paper or joss stick.,
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Conflicts of interest
There are no conflicts of interest.
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