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. 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'. If you must use scented candles for special occasions and holiday parties, you should consider improving your indoor air ventilation and filtration. One important point to remember: while beeswax and soy candles release fewer volatile organic compounds than paraffin candles, burning them still releases particulate matter. Scented Candles = More Indoor Air Pollution. If you must use an actual candle, try beeswax or soy candles. Writers often cite a 2009 study by South Carolina State University researchers that claimed that paraffin wax releases harmful chemicals such as toluene. So yes, candles do produce PM and VOCs, both of which have been found to be harmful to health, but as Nolen pointed out, the issue may not lie in the burning of candles themselves but rather in how long you’re burning them. In fact, to fight this notion that wax is harmful in any way, the NCA in conjunction with other international candle associations sponsored a study of paraffin wax, soy wax, palm wax and beeswax candles to see what sort of chemicals they emit when lit. For those that want to recreate the ambiance of a candle glow, many electric candles can appear very realistic and offer similar lighting. The caveat with scented candles is that while the fragrance itself may be safe, it can cause problems for certain populations. If you love scented candles too much to discard them completely, you can take some actions to limit scented candles impact to your indoor air. That, however is not quite true. All of these candles are made of paraffin, which may not contain the most ideal candle ingredient available as referenced above. A luxury candle checklist. So, I felt owning while reading your article. Despite this, studies have found 8 percent of brands still include lead in the manufacturing of their candles. 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. It won’t pull all the pollutants out, but it’s better than doing nothing. 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. Research has shown that burning certain types of candles can create emissions, or air pollutants, that are harmful to human health. A lot of candles say “lead free”, but that’s not enough. People have burned candles for centuries and no strong studies or science has convincingly proven their danger to human health. 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. 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. Scented candles, because of all of the extra ingredients added to give them their smell, release higher rates of particulate matter. Which Candles Are Bad? Another point of contention when it comes to candles and their effects on health is whether or not they release harmful particulate matter into the air—and this is where Nolen definitely feels that candles can be harmful. If it’s been a while since you took an environmental science class, let me break particulate matter (PM) down for you. The Candles Your Favorite Celebrities Are Burning, Cure Your Homesickness With These State Candles, You Need These Hocus Pocus Candles on Your Mantel, These Harry Potter Candles Are Everything. Scented candles are also beloved as ornamental flourishes for the home, especially during the holiday season. But here’s the thing, upon closer inspection I found that the majority of these articles didn’t have any studies or hard facts to back them up. I read the article, and then another, and another—all warning me that my candles were ruining my life. While in the past, wicks were made with lead in order to make the wick stiffer, lead wicks were officially outlawed by the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission in 2003. 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. On the more serious side, volatile organic compounds have been linked to damage to vital organs, including the liver, kidney and central nervous system. Depending on the type of candle you’re burning, candles can be bad for your home. Second of all, make sure that your home is properly ventilated during and after burning the scented candles. 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