Scented candles are one of the easiest and most effective ways to mask unpleasant odors in your home. They’re a go-to when creating a relaxing ambiance to unwind after a long work day or while taking a warm bubble bath.
But one of the main problems with scented candles is the scent itself. According to Anne Steinemann, an environmental pollutants expert who is a professor of civil engineering and the chair of sustainable cities at the University of Melbourne, certain candles may emit numerous types of potentially hazardous chemicals, such as benzene and toluene. They can cause damage to the brain, lung and central nervous system, as well as cause developmental difficulties.
“I have heard from numerous people who have asthma that they cant even go into a store if the store sells scented candles, even if they arent being burned,” Steinemann added. “They emit so much fragrance that they can trigger asthma attacks and even migraines.”
Researchers at South Carolina State University conducted a study of testing petroleum-based paraffin candles and candles of vegetable-based non-scented, non-pigmented and dye-free. Its 2009 report concluded that while the vegetable candles do not produce any pollution potentially harmful paraffin candles “launch unwanted chemicals in the air,” said the Professor of chemistry Ruhullah Massoudi.
“For a person who lights a candle every day for years or just inhalation of these harmful pollutants used them often in the air could contribute to the development of health as cancer risks, common allergy and asthma including, Massoudi said.