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Fact Check: Post claiming that burning camphor and inhaling the smell combats air pollution is misleading

  • By Vishvas News
  • Updated: December 6, 2019

A viral post on social media claims that lighting a wee bit of camphor and inhaling its aroma helps as it can counter air pollution. The post also recommends wearing a beaded necklace of cotton around the neck. Vishvas News investigated and found that camphor comes in natural and synthetic forms. Nowadays mostly synthetic camphor is used. Burning of artificial camphor causes harm and produces more smoke. Therefore, the claim that burning camphor and inhaling its smell can combat air pollution is misleading.

Claim

The post viral on Twitter shared by a used named Sadhavi Khosla reads: “Use more and more camphor (kapur) at home… lighting a wee bit of camphor and inhaling its lingering aroma helps. You may make a beads (mala) of camphor with cotton and wear it around your neck to counter #AirPollution it helps a lot.”

Investigation

Vishvas News started its investigation by searching about Camphor and how is it actually made. According to the official website of National Cancer Institute, Camphor is a substance that comes from the wood and bark of the camphor tree or is made in the laboratory. It has a very unique smell and taste and is used in commercial products (for example, mothballs). Camphor is used in topical anti-infective and anti-pruritic (anti-itching) agents.

To verify the viral claim, Vishvas News spoke to Dr. Loveleen Mangla who is a Pulmonologist in Metro Cancer Hospital. He said: “There is no scientific evidence that supports that burning camphor and inhaling it can counter air pollution. In fact, burning camphor produces more smoke.”

We also reached out to Dr. Vimal N., who is an ayurveda doctor.  He said: “Burning of camphor and inhaling it to counter air pollution doesn’t help. However, natural camphor does have certain health benefits but these days synthetic camphor is used mostly which is not good to use.”

We further searched and found some reports that supported the fact that the burning of camphor can cause health issues. Here are some examples:

On April 7, 2016, an article published on The Hindu was headlined: Ban on camphor use in temples to be strictly enforced

Conclusion

Vishvas News investigated and found that camphor comes in natural and synthetic forms. Nowadays mostly synthetic camphor is used. Burning of artificial camphor causes harm and produces more smoke. Therefore, the claim that burning camphor and inhaling its smell can combat air pollution is misleading.

  • Claim Review : Burning camphor and inhaling the smell combats air pollution
  • Claimed By : Twitter User: Sadhavi Khosla
  • Fact Check : Misleading
Misleading
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