Are Scented Candles Actually Bad for You?



What is a spa day, romantic dinner, or cozy night in without a candle or two to set the mood?

For over a decade, headlines have warned consumers about toxic chemical exposure when burning candles indoors, but new research tells us that our worries might be overblown.

A study published in 2009 found that burning paraffin wax releases potentially dangerous chemicals like toluene, and it is true that some scented candles do contain cancer-causing chemicals like benzene and formaldehyde.

While very high concentrations of these chemicals might  indeed be harmful, recent research has found that the amount of particles and vapors emitted from burning household candles is lower than the limits recommended by the World Health Organization.

In fact, a 2014 study that analyzed the air quality of rooms of various sizes after burning candles for four hours found that the highest measured levels of these chemicals were only half of the recommended limits set by the WHO.

Yes, toxicity will increase  if multiple candles are lit  in poorly-ventilated areas for prolonged periods of time, but normal use is not generally a cause for concern.

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