Are Candles Bad for Your Lungs? Or Health In General?
A lot of experts would say “yes” when asked if scented candles are bad for you because many contain chemicals that could cause respiratory problems.
However, there’s not enough scientific evidence as some studies show no linkage between chemical use in candle manufacture and adverse effects on health despite the fact that long-term exposure to high levels of certain carcinogens is hazardous.
Scented candles are a popular choice for many people. They come in a wide variety of scents, and their light can be soothing or invigorating depending on what your needs are.
But are they good? Bad? Or somewhere in between?
I find that scented candles are a great addition to any environment. They can do wonders for your mood, and they’re pretty affordable if you buy them in bulk. The only downside is that the scent isn’t always strong enough or long-lasting enough when used by itself.
For some people though, there’s no better way of getting rid of everyday stress than lighting up a few soothing scents and taking ten minutes out of your day for some self-care time with a good book and some soft music. However, the one who invented the candles, make a regular candle without adding any scents.
Scents have a way of triggering memories, feelings, or sensations that can make the working day go by much quicker.
Dangers of Scented Candles
Scented candles are popular during the holiday season. They fill your home with a festive aroma and make it feel like Christmas in December, no matter what time of year you’re celebrating.
But is that really such a good idea?
Some people think there’s nothing wrong with them because they release natural ingredients into the air instead of harmful chemicals.
However, this isn’t always true and if anything, scented candles (especially Yankee candles) can be even worse than regular ones when it comes to causing allergies or releasing toxic substances into the environment around us.
Let’s find out why:
- Scents can be irritating to sensitive people:
Some people may have allergies or asthma triggered by an artificial scent. If you are someone with these conditions, it’s best to avoid scented candles at all costs because they will most likely worsen your condition more than anything else would.
- Toxic chemicals in some fragrances:
The majority of fragrance oils come from petroleum products that contain benzene (a cancer-causing agent), lead acetate (known for causing brain damage in children), and formaldehyde (linked to leukemia).
These substances cannot just evaporate away – so even if you are not sensitive to scents, these toxic chemicals could still be harmful.
If you are still unsure about it, read this article. Are Scented Candles Carcinogenic?
- Allergic reactions from the candle itself:
Since fragrance oils can come from petroleum products, this means that they have a high chance of causing an allergic reaction in those who are exposed to them.
They might cause skin irritation and burning sensations at first contact with your body – but if you continue using it (even though it’s irritating), then there is the risk of much more severe issues such as blisters or swelling.
These three points should give you some insight into why scented candles may not always be a good idea to use around people with allergies or asthma – especially since most fragrances contain substances that are known for being dangerous and cancer-causing.
Find out here if you are allergic to scented candles!
Where are scented candles made?
Since most of the fragrances found in these types of products come from petroleum products, it’s likely that they will be produced somewhere overseas – rather than locally.
This is not to say that all manufacturers produce their products outside of the country where they are sold, but there are many cases when this does occur due to regulations and production costs.
If you want your candle to burn safely without any toxic fumes, then make sure you buy one with an ‘organic’ label on its packaging.
This means that some factories focus more on quantity instead of quality while others put safety first as their first priority. So before purchasing anything like this for yourself or anyone else, take into consideration which type of environment the product was made in.
Finding a middle ground on scented candles
So, while burning your favourite scented candle on a cozy winter evening is not putting your health in any immediate danger, consider taking a few precautions to reduce these scented candle dangers.
Make sure you burn your candle in a well-ventilated space. Also, consider swapping your paraffin wax for a soy candle, which is also vegan. They are not only better for your health, but also for the environment.
Scented candles are popular and can often be a part of home decor and even your daily routines. But for people that can be sensitive to their byproducts, scented candles may not be right for your household.
If you must use scented candles for special occasions and holiday parties, you should consider improving your indoor air ventilation and filtration.
At the end of the day, you will need to make a balance between using scented candles and the potential occupants that may occupy that space.
Check out this article if can candles damage your eyes!
Smell is one of the human senses which can flow through the whole body. I am the Founder of NeoCandle.com where we talk all about scented candles. Known as Candace the Candle Girl, I know pretty much all there is to know about scented candles. I make and sell them on Etsy and Ebay – so be sure to ask if you have any burning questions 🙂 (pun intended 😉 )