You may be wondering if scented candles are bad for you. 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. These are all valid concerns and we’ll be addressing these and more in our article below.
Why burning candles can be harmful
Candles work when you light the wick, which is the string sticking out of the end of the candle. When you light a candle by holding a flame to the wick, heat melts the wax at the top of the candle. Now in liquid form, the wax seeps into the wick and begins to burn on its own. As the wax burns, the flame on the wick continually melts the candle and draws fresh liquid wax into its fibers. The wax, as fuel for the flame, combusts and becomes smoke, carbon dioxide, water, and a few other substances in the air.
Anything that releases smoke decreases the air quality around it, whether it be a coal plant, a burnt piece of toast or a scented candle. The main culprits behind the health risks in scented candle smoke are particulate matter, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and lead. Lead is a lesser concern since it was banned by the CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) in 2000
As with nearly anything that burns, candles release particulate matter. Candles, because of all of the extra ingredients added to give them their smell, release higher rates of particulate matter. The highest amount of particulate matter is released once the candle is blown out and visible smoke is rising from the wick. Particulate matter is so small that the particles can get deep into your lungs and cause respiratory problems and even contribute to lung cancer.
Additionally, burning scented candles create a wide variety of volatile organic compounds, which are a family of chemicals which include things like formaldehyde and acetaldehyde. While some scents can have aroma therapeutic benefits, many of the scents contained within candles are artificial organic compounds and not always healthy. Some scented candles release amounts of volatile organic compounds which are far above safe limits and don’t even need to be lit to release these compounds. On one side of the health effects, volatile organic compounds can cause irritation and allergic reactions. On the more serious side, volatile organic compounds have been linked to damage to vital organs, including the liver, kidney and central nervous system.
The biggest health risk associated with scented candles is the lead contained in the wicks of some brands. Lead was routinely used in the manufacture of candle wicks for decades. It helped the wick stay upright as it burned. Once the risks of lead became apparent, the candle industry voluntarily agreed to remove lead from its wicks. Despite this, studies have found 8 percent of brands still include lead in the manufacturing of their candles. Some scholars contend that no level of lead is safe and even tiny amounts of lead exposure are dangerous.
Particulate matter, volatile organic compounds, and lead are especially troublesome for small children and pets. The respiratory and nervous systems of these smaller beings are especially sensitive to external toxins. Lead is especially dangerous, as it is known to cause severe developmental problems in children.
What to burn instead of candles
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. Candles are of particular concern since, as we mentioned earlier, they release potentially toxic volatile organic compounds without even being burnt. Here are some alternatives to consider instead of burning candles to light up your room, shop or environment .
- Sunking pro 200 :
This solar lamp dose not only light up your room 10X than candles, but also comes with a mobile charging function that allows you charge your phone on it. Cost effective. Reliable . Zero health risk . 5 year life span. check product on jumia click here
You can also visit our store for more of this kind of product