Associations between Incense-Burning Temples and Respiratory Mortality in Hong Kong

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Incense burning is an important topic facing many countries in Asia. As a highly urbanized area, the overlapping of urban functional blocks in Hong Kong has resulted in many temples being located near residential and commercial areas. Therefore, the pollutants emitted by temples’ incense burning could cause severe health problems to the population. This study identified 366 Hong Kong temples and classified them into four categories: open, semi-closed, closed, and non-active, according to their incense burning characteristics. Among them, open temples have the largest average area and least quantity. Principal component analysis (PCA) indicated that building density, greenery density, water density, and temple weight are the most highly influencing factors. The temple weight is the only loading factor with a contributing factor from PC2, especially in 2006 and 2011. Furthermore, the linear regression model has been applied to analyze the correlation between variables. Although this study did not reach conclusive results about the actual impact of each temple type, the model results confirm that the temple is a sub-factor to respiratory mortality. This provides the theoretical foundation for government policy establishment of temple construction planning and community optimization in Asian cities.
Original languageEnglish
Article number774
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jun 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This research was funded by Lam Kei on Memorial Trust (Lam Woo Research Fund), grant number LWI20007.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Build environment
  • Incense burning
  • Mortality
  • Respiratory health
  • Temple


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