Another Post From Mari DeSchryver: The Hidden Dangers of Scented Candles
There may be a hidden danger in your home that you aren’t even aware of: scented candles. “The hidden dangers of scented candles” by IQ Air goes into detail about how scented candles are especially dangerous to your overall and respiratory health. Even though they may seem harmless and calming, scented candles release toxic chemicals into the air from just about every element of the candle from the wick to the fragrance and the wax, even when they aren’t lit.
Most mass-produced candles have a negative impact on the indoor air quality of your home, and that begins when the wax is melted. Paraffin, a petroleum byproduct and common ingredient in candles, is bleached and deodorized in order to be made into wax. This process and its chemical makeup leads it to release Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s) such as acetone, benzene, and toluene. These compounds are known carcinogens and can cause allergies, skin problems, and asthma attacks.
The scariest part is, a study done by the University of South Florida showed that candles made of paraffin wax give off these dangerous compounds even when the candle is not lit. Another alarming statement from the article was that the wax’s VOC’s are the same that are found in diesel fuel emissions; yes, the same stuff that goes into cars.
In addition to toxic chemicals, burning scented candles also gives off soot and smoke that can hover in the air of your home for hours after the candle is put out. The study previously mentioned also showed that these soot particles are similar to diesel exhaust as well, both in size and composition. The ultrafine particles from the smoke are associated with respiratory diseases, heart attacks, and strokes.
The lovely aromas given off by scented candles are often made by synthetic fragrances that emit dangerous chemicals as well. Some examples of these chemicals mentioned by the article are esters, formaldehyde, petroleum distillates, and limonene. These chemicals are known to case headaches, dizziness, respiratory tract infections, asthma attacks, and allergic reaction symptoms. The extra bad news is that the candle does not need to be lit for these compounds to be emitted, they impact your indoor air quality even at room temperature.
The final way scented candles can pose a danger to your health is the wick. Nowadays, candle wicks are made from zinc and tin, which release small amounts of heavy metals into the air in your home when lit. Although candles are not made with lead wicks anymore, the modern wicks can still release trace amounts of lead particles.
I don’t know about you, but after learning about just what scented candles can do to air quality, I will be doing a lot of research before purchasing my next candle. Soy wax candles are relatively popular and a better option, but they still give off smoke and soot when burned. All candles are typically burned regardless of what they are made of so a more concrete and reliable option is to invest in an air cleaner.
But, here’s the good news. General Filters air cleaners are designed to keep you safe from inhaling any dangerous particles, and our AC series air cleaners can catch ultrafine particles as small as 0.3 microns. Be able to enjoy your candles without endangering your lungs by setting up a General Filters air cleaner, listed in the link below.