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Volume 16, No. 2, February 2016, Pages 398-404 PDF(319 KB)  
doi: 10.4209/aaqr.2015.01.0027   

Emission Characteristics and Concentrations of Gaseous Pollutants in Environmental Moxa Smoke

Jian Huang1, Yu-Hai Huang2, Min Yee Lim1, Jing-Ying Zhang3, Bai-Xiao Zhao1, Xiao-Bin Jin4, Jin-Liang Zhang5

1 School of Acupuncture-Moxibustion and Tuina, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing, 100029, China
2 Center for Science and Technology Development and Exchange of Traditional Chinese Medicine of China, State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine of the People's Republic of China, Beijing, 100027, China
3 School of Basic Medical Science, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing, 100029, China
4 School of Public Health, Peking University, Beijing, 100083, China
5 State Key Laboratory of Environmental Criteria and Risk Assessment, Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences (CRAES), Beijing 100012, China


  • First report to study gaseous pollutants of moxa smoke.
  • Gaseous pollutants are within international standards and occupational limits.
  • Data is important for assessing occupational and non-occupational exposure.



The burning of moxa floss in moxibustion constitutes a major anthropogenic source of many gaseous pollutants, which has been associated with many different negative environmental health effects. The aim of the present study is to systemically study the concentration of gaseous pollutants emitted from different types of moxa floss combustion and present key information in abbreviated tabular form to assist in the assessment of air quality in moxibustion clinics and contribute to the safety evaluation of moxibustion. Sampling was divided into pre-combustion, combustion and post-combustion phases. The pollutants determined were carbon monoxide (CO), carbon dioxide (CO2), sulphur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) produced by burning three types of moxa floss samples. The average post-combustion concentrations for CO, CO2 and NO2 in moxibustion clinics were 9.333 ppm, 0.138% and 10.556 μg m–3, respectively. SO2 was below detectable limit. NO2 concentration decreased during post-combustion, possibly as a result of reactions from moxa floss combustion. The levels of target gaseous pollutants from 4 g of moxa floss combustion were not produced in quantities that exceeded present international air quality standards and occupational exposure limits. Data from our study is important for the recognition and control of occupational and non-occupational gaseous exposure and for the assessment of air quality in moxibustion clinics by professional authorities.



Keywords: Moxibustion; Gaseous pollutants; Moxa smoke.



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