Are candles poisonous?
However, many of these articles use inconclusive evidence or no evidence to support their claims.
Are candle wicks made of lead?
Candle wicks in the United States currently do not contain lead.
In 2003, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) voted to ban the sale and manufacture of candles containing lead wicks. They also ban the import of leaded candles from other countries.
Most candle manufacturers stopped using lead in their candles in the 1970s. Lead-based candles have been removed from the market due to concerns that the smoke could cause lead poisoning, especially in children.
Is wax made from toxic chemicals?
Most modern candles are made from paraffin wax. This wax is made from petroleum and is a by-product of making gasoline.
A 2009 study found that burning paraffin releases potentially dangerous chemicals such as toluene.
However, the study has never been published in a peer-reviewed journal, and the National Candle Association and the European Candle Association have questioned its reliability.
According to a statement released by the European Candle Association, "They have provided no data for review and their conclusions are based on unsupported claims. There are no reputable scientific studies showing that any candle wax, including paraffin, is harmful to human health." "
A 2007 study funded by the European Candle Association examined 300 toxic chemicals in each major wax.
Researchers found that the levels of chemicals released by each type of candle were well below the amounts that would cause health problems in humans.
Currently, there is no conclusive evidence that burning candle wax is harmful to your health.
However, if you're concerned about the potential negative health effects of burning paraffin, you can try candles made from beeswax, soy wax, or other vegetable waxes.
Do candles emit particulate matter and VOCs?
Burning candles release volatile organic compounds and particulate matter into the air.
Particulate matter is a mixture of extremely small droplets and particles that can enter the lungs. There are concerns that prolonged exposure to particulate matter can cause heart and lung problems.
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are carbon compounds that easily turn into gases at room temperature. Some volatile organic compounds are naturally present in flowers to create their sweet aroma. Other volatile organic compounds, such as formaldehyde and gasoline, may cause cancer.
We are frequently exposed to particulate matter and volatile organic compounds in our daily lives. These VOCs come in the form of vehicle exhaust, factory pollution and anything else that burns fossil fuels.
A 2014 study examined the amount of particulate matter released from burning candles and found that the amounts released were not high enough to cause human health problems.
If you use candles correctly and in a well-ventilated space, they are unlikely to have a significant impact on your health.
Is candle smoke toxic?
Breathing too much smoke of any type can harm your health.
Burning candles made of paraffin releases soot. It is speculated that the combustion products of these candles are similar to those released by diesel engines.
It's a good idea to minimize the amount of smoke you inhale by lighting candles in a well-ventilated room and keeping them away from drafts that would increase the amount of smoke they release.
Burning scented candles releases volatile organic compounds such as formaldehyde, which may increase the risk of cancer.
Although scented candles release these compounds, it's not known whether they affect your health.
It is also possible to have an allergic reaction to scented candles. Symptoms may include:
- runny nose
- sinus obstruction
Are soy candles toxic?
Even though smoke is cleaner, it's best to minimize your intake of any type of smoke.
The European Candle Association offers the following recommendations for handling candles:
- Do not light candles in drafty areas.
- If the wick is longer than 10 to 15 mm, trim the wick.
- Instead of blowing out the candle, use a candle stick or dip the wick into wax.
- Ventilate the room after extinguishing the candles.
Which candle is best for your health?
The smoke from burning candles in a well-ventilated area is less likely to have a significant impact on your health than the pollution you breathe in in your daily life.
If you want to minimize the amount of particles you breathe in, sticking to candles made from natural sources is your best option.
According to one study, candles made from palm stearin release only half the amount of soot as candles made from paraffin wax. The researchers also explained that natural candles appear to release the lowest amounts of potentially dangerous chemicals.
Some natural candle options include:
- coconut wax
- I am wax
- palm wax
- vegetable wax
Breathing in any type of smoke can be unhealthy. If you plan to use candles regularly, it's best to burn them in a ventilated room to minimize the amount of smoke you inhale.
Keeping candles away from drafts can help reduce the amount of smoke they produce.