Thursday, August 28, 2014

Scented candles can increase indoor air pollution

Soaking in the tub with candles lit might seem like a great way to relax, but did you know that you could be breathing in harmful toxins? 

Indoor air pollution is increased when we spray toxins into the air to mask odors. Some cleaning agents we use on an everyday basis can also increase indoor pollution. But did you know that candles made from paraffin wax have also been linked to releasing toxins into the air? Paraffin wax is the most common wax used to make candles. Its odorless and a petroleum by-product, but not the greatest for your health. Some ingredients in your paraffin wax candles may be, ethanol, formaldehyde, acetone, and benzene.

In a study by The Chemical Society; it states that "candles made from bee's wax or soy, although more expensive, apparently are healthier. They do not release potentially harmful amounts of indoor air pollutants while retaining all of the warmth, ambience and fragrance of paraffin candles (which are made from petroleum)." 

Top Five Candle Tips

Tip #1

Use a renewable resource like soy wax, vegetable wax, or beeswax candles. Usually these candles tend to be a bit more pricey, but they claim to be better for your health.

Tip #2

Read the ingredients before you buy. Make sure that candle does not have a lead based wick. Keep in mind that if you have allergies or asthma scented candles may increase your symptoms.


Trim your wicks. Candle wicks that are more than 1/4 inch long will smoke. Reduce the soot and trim your wicks.


Have good ventilation when lighting your candles. It might not be the best idea to light 20 scented candles in your bathroom and close the door. Try to stick to a few and keep the bathroom ventilated the next time you want a romantic soak.

Paraffin wax candles are very popular and sometimes don't always list their ingredients .

According to the American Lung Association, you shouldn't use scented candles to mask odors inside your home. The American Lung Association encourages you to tackle what's causing the odor, rather than masking the smell & polluting the air with scented candles and fragrances.