However, some candles can release particulates that include toxins and carcinogens. PM refers to solid and liquid particles that are in the air we breathe, the smallest of which can go past our bodies natural defense systems and into our lungs. The surprise is how much extra pollution they create when they are extinguished. “ I’m not saying don’t put candles on your kids birthday cake, but don’t think of them as a benign thing if you’re having them burning for hours on end in your home,” she said. To summarize, candles are no longer made with lead-core wicks, their wax is non-toxic, and you don’t need to feel bad for enjoying their delicious scents … There’s no hard and fast rule for how long it’s safe to burn a candle before it starts causing any trouble (the research just isn’t there) but in Nolen’s opinion, “the longer they burn the more they’re producing pollution,” so try to not to burn them all day long. They are an essential part of any #selfcare routine, but experts say your love of scented candles could be harming the environment and causing you … Many companies that make beeswax candles are smaller, independently run shops such as Cheeky Bee. If you are using candles in a normal way in a well-ventilated area, they are unlikely to affect your health. Paraffin is a soft, colorless byproduct of petroleum, a liquid found beneath the earth’s surface that can be turned into fuel. It may be shocking to think that your favorite candles could potentially be bad for you, and made worse by added fragrances. These are all valid concerns and we’ll be addressing these and more in our article below. C… To give you some background, candles are usually made from paraffin wax or soy wax, both of which are solids that act as the fuel for candle flame. It won’t pull all the pollutants out, but it’s better than doing nothing. Most candles that you find today are made of paraffin wax, but unfortunately, it’s not the safest compound to be inhaling as it burns. The wax, as fuel for the flame, combusts and becomes smoke, carbon dioxide, water, and a few other substances in the air. But you may also be wondering if scented candles are bad for you. First, you should consider beeswax based scented candles, which burn “cleaner” than alternatives and release a lower amount of pollutants. We may earn commission on some of the items you choose to buy. Paraffin is derived from petroleum and made up of straight-chain hydrocarbons, which combust to produce a dark soot that can get into linens, stain walls, and lead to respiratory problems. You can get more creative as well, such as using things like potpourri, fresh flowers, and boiling citrus peels in water. Rob agrees, yes candles do release particulate matter, and yes they do release VOCs but there’s no indication that the PM and VOCs coming from candles are any worse than what you would find just taking a stroll outside. The Yankee Candle Company, though known mostly for scented candles, makes a small number of other products. At this point one of the few ways you could end up with a lead-core wick candle is if you imported one that wasn’t governed by these regulations but even then the chances are slim as there are National Candle Association (NCA) equivalents worldwide ensuring the safety of candles. “There’s no question that a candle does produce these but they produce very very small amounts compared to the air that you’re breathing,” he said. When you light a candle by holding a flame to the wick, heat melts the wax at the top of the candle. Lead is a lesser concern since it was banned by the CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) in 2000. As this other study by European researchers found, when candles burn they produce mostly carbon dioxide, water, and fragrance (if you’re burning a scented candle) and any other chemicals that are produced when burning are found in such low concentrations that they don’t pose any serious risk to health. For many people, there is nothing quite like winding down after a long day with a hot drink and a few scented candles. Candles give off particulate air pollution and VOC’s both of which are proven to be bad for your health. Another point that Nolen brings up is the fact that candles emit Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), chemicals that may be harmful on their own or interact with other chemicals in the air to produce harmful compounds. The candles you’re burning could be emitting air pollutants that are bad for you and bad for your home. Yes, some are bad for you. A lot of candles say “lead free”, but that’s not enough. Other Yankee Candle Products. What Makes Candles So Bad Paraffin is the major ingredient in most conventional candles and is a sludge waste product from the petroleum industry. First on the list is Bath and Body Works candles. Thank you for “clearing the air” But seriously, yes this nonsensical mess about which candles burn cleaner is dizzying. OK, so the wick is fine, but what about the big chunk of wax that is the actual candle? Lead is especially dangerous, as it is known to cause severe developmental problems in children. Most scented candles are made of paraffin wax, but there is a burgeoning market for alternative candles made of vegetable or beeswax. To ensure that you are getting lead-free candles, make sure to check for labels indicating that the wick is 100% cotton and that you are purchasing your candles from a source you trust. Particulate matter, volatile organic compounds, and lead are especially troublesome for small children and pets. If it’s been a while since you took an environmental science class, let me break particulate matter (PM) down for you. Scented candles are of particular concern since, as we mentioned earlier, they release potentially toxic volatile organic compounds without even being burnt. This candle smells so heavenly you will feel any stress slip away from the first whiff. Your curiosity may have started after seeing the ingredients list on your candles or wondering about the effect burning candles have on indoor air quality. So I decided that before I threw out all my lovely (and expensive) candles I should do some proper investigating to address all the internet claims that claim candles are a silent killer. The independently conducted study found that “ all the major waxes burned in a very similar manner and all waxes produced virtually identical combustion products...all waxes were shown to be safe when used in candles,” said Harrington. “Candles are something that people perceive as being benign and it’s important to realize that they are not benign,” she said. There’s no way that apple-pie and fresh vanilla ice cream scent doesn’t contain carcinogens right? You can also consider using an air purifier such as Molekule, which can destroy harmful chemicals and filter particulate matter. If they contain harmful and volatile ingredients like paraffin wax. Paraffin and Synthetic free. If you want to use candles, use a beeswax version and if you want a scent then put some fresh, wildcrafted 100% pure essential oils in an ultrasonic diffuser and your health with thank you. Alongside wood and coal burning stoves, and indoor non-compliant fire places, candles are a major source of indoor pollution that can cause a worsening of … It is also alleged to contribute to a greater sense of well-being as well as enhanced physical and mental health. And if you are concerned, Nolen recommends electric candles for ambiance. This dreamy candle has scents of pure lavender, roman chamomile and bergamot essential oils – all of which again we know will relax our pooch to no end. I used to ask a question in my mind that ‘Are candles bad for health or not’ whenever i went to a birthday party or stuff. Look out for aromatherapy candles made of paraffin—a petroleum byproduct—which releases … One of the internet’s most frequently asked candle related questions is… are scented candles bad for you.Like everything in this world there is the good the bad and the better, that includes what goes into your favorite scented candles. Because of this, you should still keep in mind that they aren’t completely free from impacting your indoor air. Some scholars contend that no level of lead is safe and even tiny amounts of lead exposure are dangerous. The biggest issue with candles are toxic wax and, in the case of older candles, toxic wicks. On the more serious side, volatile organic compounds have been linked to damage to vital organs, including the liver, kidney and central nervous system. However, people on … According to Janice Nolen, the Assistant Vice President of National Policy at the American Lung Association, “just the scents alone, for people with asthma for example, can cause problems with breathing.” Nolen recommends skipping scented products altogether (yes, air freshners and oil diffusers included) but urges that extreme only with particularly vulnerable populations like young kids, asthmatics, and adults over 65 definitely stay away). Scented candles, because of all of the extra ingredients added to give them their smell, release higher rates of particulate matter. If you’re using scented candles to mask other smells, consider deodorizing your home with baking soda instead. Burning candles can be bad for the environment in a number of ways. Yes it’s true that the fragrances which make candles so enticing are made with chemicals (it’s not surprising you can’t pack a pine tree forest into some wax) but all of these fragrances typically conform to safety standards established by the International Fragrance Association, which ensures that chemicals used are non-toxic and safe for human use. If you like to burn candles solely for the aromatherapy and to add fragrance to a room, you can swap out the candle for a diffuser. Some throw up nasty chemicals when burning. Claim 2: Candle wax is made from harmful chemicals that are released when burned. Candle soot is also chemically different from soot produced by burning diesel, coal, and gasoline. Second of all, make sure that your home is properly ventilated during and after burning the scented candles. Beeswax candles will effectively reduce allergies, asthma, and hay fever and will not contribute to the release of contaminants into the air like other candles. Online press releases from EurekAlert and National News mention research carried out at the South Carolina State University and orally presented at the 238th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS). On one side of the health effects, volatile organic compounds can cause irritation and allergic reactions. All of these candles are made of paraffin, which may not contain the most ideal candle ingredient available as referenced above. If you’re concerned with having the best possible indoor air quality environment in your home, burning candles can pose some challenges to this mission. Depending on the type of candle you’re burning, candles can be bad for your home. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io, Marie Kondo Says You Should Keep Unwanted Gifts, Archie Joins Harry and Meghan on Their Podcast, Krispy Kreme's 'Four Days of Glaze' Deal Is Here, Former Royal Chef Is *Not* Here for 'The Crown'. Also, thanks for letting us know how we can make candles ourselves. You can also try your luck at farmer’s markets to find beeswax candles from local makers, or even consider making your own at home with beeswax candle making kits that can easily be found online or local hobby shops. The respiratory and nervous systems of these smaller beings are especially sensitive to external toxins. There are three major materials that makeup candles today. Steinemann said for some people, the effects are "immediate, acute and severe," while others may not realize they are … To summarize, candles are no longer made with lead-core wicks, their wax is non-toxic, and you don’t need to feel bad for enjoying their delicious scents (unless you have asthma or allergies). Best wishes for you But for people that can be sensitive to their byproducts, scented candles may not be right for your household. Let’s take a look at a few popular scented candle brands and assess their health risk potential. For those that want to recreate the ambiance of a candle glow, many electric candles can appear very realistic and offer similar lighting. Candle soot can damage property, but has not been shown to have any adverse health effects. So OK, one study was not reliable, that doesn’t mean wax is in the clear right? 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