Can burning candles be harmful to the air in your home? We often associate candles with romantic settings, the backdrop to a perfect bath, or creating a cozy, relaxing space. Certainly, all these are inviting and even intimate, as they add warmth and comfort to any atmosphere, but candles can contribute to an indoor air pollution problem.
Unfortunately, candles are more harmful, even unlit, than we ever anticipated. HOW? When candles are burned, they release carcinogenic toxins like benzene, toluene and formaldehyde, just to mention a few. Paraffin candles (which are made of petroleum) and scented candles, are mass-produced and a very common trend, are actually dreadful as they cause the most issues with our health. Most candles sold these days are made from paraffin wax. The emissions from paraffin candles contain many of the same toxins produced by burning diesel fuel.
Many people use scented candles to freshen their homes. The truth is that chemicals are used to create these scents. These fragrances often contain phthalates and many other pollutants and carcinogens. When inhaled, they can contribute to many health risks: allergies, asthma, puberty disruptions, hormone alteration, early menopause, skin, eye and lung irritations and often even cancer. Most scented candles that use synthetic fragrances and dyes whether lit or not, give off VOC’s even at room temperature. This may trigger allergic reactions too with symptoms like itchy and watery eyes, sore throat, blocked nasal passages, headaches, hives, skin irritations and asthma- like conditions.
But it doesn’t end there.
Even some wicks on imported candles have been found to be made of lead. The reason why lead is used is to keep the wick standing. When candles containing lead wicks are being burned, the result is higher than normal lead concentrations in indoor air—more toxins in the air we are breathing.
Candles are just one source of toxins that we use in our homes to “freshen” the air. Room deodorizers, plug-ins also fall into this category. They too, fill the air with incredibly high levels of toxins that we overlook as being harmful.
If you think that you cannot live without your pleasant, relaxing ambiance created with your favourite candles, do not fret! There are many beautiful candles that you can purchase these days that are more environment friendly. Just look for ones that are flameless or made with bee’s wax or 100% soy and definitely—UNSCENTED! If it’s the scent that adds warmth to your atmosphere that you cannot live without, here are a few suggestions: Use essential oils in a diffuser or even in your bath water. Bake some cookies- it will smell great and you will enjoy them with a cup of tea. Buy fresh flowers-they always smell good and create a lovely ambiance.
Air Purifiers can help.
Having an air purification system in your space is also another way to rid your home of any unwanted particles, VOC’s occupying the air or other allergens that are making you or any family member feel unwell. If you want to have a heathier ambiance that you can enjoy with your loved one, or perhaps, just a quiet evening alone, an air purifier will clean the air you are breathing in. It will remove any toxins that are lurking in your indoor air and help you to enjoy a perfect environment that will promote a good mood and good health!
Breathe Clean. Breathe PUR!
Call us today if you would like to learn more about taking care of your indoor air.
151 Applewood Crescent