I love burning candles’vanilla, sandalwood, mango’the scent depends on my mood, and whether I’m looking to relax or just make my apartment a little cozier. But apparently, the fumes from a burning candle could be as toxic as those from cigarettes.
A study by U.S. researchers found paraffin-based candles release carcinogens and chemicals that could raise the risk of asthma.
When I think about the dangers of a burning candle, it’s the risk of starting a fire that primarily comes to mind, not the smoke it produces.
Dr. Amid Hamidi from the University of South Carolina, who led the study, says the results showed paraffin-based candles produce several chemicals, mainly because they do not burn at a high enough temperature to destroy the hazardous molecules they emit, reports the Daily Mail.
Additional research from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency finds scented candles produce more soot than unscented, the particles of which can infiltrate deep into your lungs and be harmful to your respiratory system.
But if you can’t imagine a bubble bath without the flicker of a soothing scented candle, there are other options. Candles made from beeswax and soy were found to rarely cause as much indoor pollution as paraffin-based versions.
According to experts at the British Lung Foundation, the occasional burning of scented candles is unlikely to cause problems, as it’s repeated exposure and burning in unventilated areas that is most harmful.
And I thought my biggest worry about a burning candle was making sure my cat didn’t put her tail in it (again)!
How do you choose which candles you purchase?