Scented candles typically invoke the idea of a calm relaxing atmosphere, but there’s a more dangerous side to scented candles that disrupts this feeling.
They can release harmful airborne compounds when burned that cause varying levels of health concerns from throat irritation to respiratory congestion to possibly contributing to cancer. When burned, scented candles can release harmful airborne compounds that can negatively affect home air quality by creating indoor air pollution if burned frequently.
Toxic Emissions And VOCs Present In Scented Candles
VOCs that are released in paraffin wax burning candles:
- Acetaldehyde – a clear, colorless liquid or gas typically used to create perfumes. Acetaldehyde is the chemical created in the body when one drinks alcohol.
- Acrolein – a colorless liquid with a pungent smell typically used in pesticides.
- Benzene – a light yellow, flammable liquid found in products including industrial solvents, paints, glues, detergents, and gasoline.
- Formaldehyde – a disinfectant and preservative found in building materials and in most household products.
- Naphthalene – a white crystalline solid used to make mothballs and other insecticides.
Although many of these VOCs occur naturally in food and drink like Acetaldehyde being present in coffee and bread, when burned or inhaled in large amounts regularly they become more dangerous and can lead to health issues.
Are there safer alternatives to regular candles?
Yes, a few alternatives can help recreate the blissful ambiance of a candle glow without the adverse health effects.
Beeswax candles are safe, environmentally friendly, and non-toxic. They make an ideal option to keep your home free of soot and smoke.
They help clean the air by producing negative ions that neutralize pollutants.
Beeswax also burns three times longer than paraffin candles. While it has no added fragrance, it still emits a natural, subtle smell of honey.
Derived from soybean oil, soy-based candles are yet another worthy sustainable alternative to scented candles. They are free of toxins and burn 50% longer than the standard paraffin candles. Soy wax spills are also easy to clean up by simply using soap and water.
Essential oil diffusers
If you are an aromatherapy enthusiast, then you’ll like essential oil diffusers. This safe, smoke-free alternative fills your home with exotic scents when diffused.
They come in various shapes and sizes, so you can select one that blends with your surroundings.
Oil diffusers have also been scientifically proven to help deal with mental health issues such as anxiety and depression.