Are scented candles good or bad for your health?

Scented candles are a very popular decorative item in homes. With their fragrances they give a cozy touch to the spaces and allow to create an atmosphere of relaxation. However, some of its components have been identified as toxic to the body. So are they good or bad for your health? In this article we will explain it to you.

A report made by the Royal College of Physicians on the impact of air pollution on people's lives pointed out that Recreational items such as candles, scents, or incense sticks are potential sources of pollution. within homes. This is because they release toxic particles into the air when they come into contact with fire or other elements (ozone).

Most commercial waxed candles are made from petroleum products, which when burned release formaldehyde, lead, benzene, and toluene. All substances already studied for causing adverse reactions.

Effects of using scented candles on our health

Constant exposure to chemicals released by scented candles is associated with respiratory problems such as asthma, eye and skin irritations, and common allergies, according to a study by South Carolina State University.

Specifically, those with a metal core wick release lead and zinc particles, as identified in a study published by the University of Michigan. These components influence reproductive problems, cause anemia, kidney dysfunction and neurological effects.

On the other hand, the Swiss firm IQ Air, which generates reports on air quality in the world, indicates that Scented candles are much more dangerous because they use artificial fragrances and dyes that emit dangerous volatile organic compounds (VOCs), such as limonene or esters. These compounds can cause headaches, dizziness, allergies, and respiratory infections.

The headache can be derived from the compounds that are emitted in the burning of scented candles.

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The link to asthma

Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease of the airways. The bronchi overreact in these patients and close on contact with stimulant substances.

It is speculated that the burning of scented candles could lead to exacerbations of asthma. This means that does not generate the disease itself, but increases the annual episodes of crisis bronchospasm. In these exacerbations, people suffer from severe bronchospasms that impede proper ventilation and respiratory mechanics.

Although there is discussion about it, the proposition is not illogical, beyond the scientific evidence. Any compound that is in the air and that the body recognizes as foreign or allergen will be able to influence an allergic response. In the same way, this can be associated with contact dermatitis.

Other risks of scented candles

One of the most obvious and, at the same time, overestimated risks is fire. Although a candle seems harmless, contact with another material could create a big problem.

The risk of fire increases if you leave it near a draft or within the reach of children and pets who can knock it over. It is recommended to always extinguish the candles before leaving the house, even if you consider that you will be away for a short time.

Alternatives to paraffin candles

In recent years, organic products have become popular due to the search for a return to nature and sustainability. In the market there are soy candles and essential oils that allow you to have a pleasant aroma in your home, free of harmful chemicals.

You can also plant fragrant plants that allow you to have an aromatic indoor garden. In this way, you avoid the presence of aromatic candles inside your home.

The interior use of scented candles carries risks, not only in pathologies, but also due to the possibility of fires.

Keep reading: 5 essential oils and their benefits

An occasional use of scented candles is safe

Although studies have indicated that scented candles have potential adverse effects, most are related to excessive use of them. In general, minimal levels of compounds like limonene are sporadically not risky.

Therefore it is important that you make a rational use of candles and flavorings. Likewise, it is essential that you know its components to identify if they have those that can be potentially toxic.

In the event that you are asthmatic or that someone with the disease resides in your home, the best option will be to avoid them, even when their ignition is occasional. Asthmatic attacks are difficult situations that affect the quality of life of patients, so having a toxic-free environment is a priority.