Warning to anyone burning scented candles at home over significant health risks

WE all like it when our home smells great.

However, experts have warned that the manner in which you achieve that signature scent could put your health at risk.

One expert has warned that using candles could cause health problems


One expert has warned that using candles could cause health problemsPhoto credit: Getty

dr Svetlana Stevanovic, a professor at Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia, said your favorite candle could contain a large number of potentially toxic chemicals.

She explained that candles, melted wax or any scents given off are linked to the emission of volatile organic compounds and also small particles that stay in the air.

“When we (candles) burn, many small particles are released during the combustion process and many of these go straight to our lungs.

“It is well known that this causes a number of different negative health effects,” the expert told 7NEWS.

Prof. Stevanovic explained that burning candles could lead to several problems, including headaches and allergic reactions.

The expert added that burning candles could make your symptoms worse if you have asthma or other breathing problems.

“Once we put something into the air, it’s always changing, so it won’t even be the same as if we burn it — it’ll oxidize, it’ll change… and then it’ll become even more toxic to us,” she adds .

The professor said people who use scents in the home should be aware of the dangers, as around a third of the population is sensitive to these “volatile” scent compounds.

According to Stevanovic, the level of pollution inside the house is higher than outside.

This is because there is wind outside and a larger air mass.

When we use candles in the home, she said, we’re “basically introducing new pollutants into the air.”

And you might think you’re off the hook by using so-called “natural or organic” candles when it comes to toxicity, but Prof Stevanovic said that’s simply not the case.

She added that manufacturers are not required to disclose all of the compounds used in their products.

“Natural doesn’t mean it’s good for us if we inhale it all the time, so we should do everything in moderation,” adds the expert.

But if you still want to use your candles, the professor said, there are some things you can do to minimize your risk.

She said indoor spaces need to be well ventilated, so opening windows and planting indoors would help.

dr Dan Gubler, a chemistry doctor and former professor, previously said candles are a form of indoor pollution that people often don’t think about.

“Candles are made from cheap paraffin wax, they are made from artificial fragrances and colors.

“And when we burn that, it produces carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, benzopyrene, toluene and other volatile compounds.

“They are not good for the body. They affect the body’s ability to reproduce [cells],” he said.

What is the evidence?

There is no direct evidence that candle use can lead to disease.

Still, many research teams have theorized that the toxic fumes produced by wax and wick could be harmful in the long run.

Some studies show that burning paraffin releases volatile compounds – like toluene, which Dr. Gubler was mentioned – and these have been linked to a higher risk of cancer.

However, some experts argue that the amount of volatile compounds released by candles is so small that it has not been shown to cause cancer in humans.

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For example, a 2007 study funded by the European Candle Association examined all major types of wax for 300 toxic chemicals.

The researchers found that the amount of chemicals released by each type of candle was well below the amount that would cause health problems in humans, Healthline reported.

https://www.the-sun.com/health/7421840/warning-scented-candles-home-significant-health-risks/ Warning to anyone burning scented candles at home over significant health risks

Emma James

Emma James is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Emma James joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing emmajames@ustimespost.com.

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