Candles can be lovely and relaxing. There’s a reason why a candlelit dinner is considered the height of romance. Something about the gentle light makes everything seem more magical. Plus, they make a room smell good too. Despite being a seemingly magical source of calm and positive feelings, some candles could be bad for your health and indoor air quality.
What’s Wrong With Scented Candles?
The main problem with most commercial candles is that they are made of paraffin wax. This is a petroleum byproduct that is created when crude oil is refined into gasoline. This product, when burned, releases fumes that can do damage to the lungs.
Another issue is the wick that is burned. Most are made of cotton wrapped around a metal core. When these metal wicks are burnt, they can release a dangerous kind of soot that seeps into the lungs when inhaled. Furthermore more, though most commercial candle companies claim they don’t use lead in their products, they aren’t legally mandated to make their candles lead-free. So it’s possible, especially when it comes to imported candles (which make up about one-third of all candle sales), that the wicks are laced with heavy metals.
So what’s a candle connoisseur to do? Well, thankfully there are safer and more natural alternatives. If you really can’t go without candles (and who can blame you?), we recommend buying 100% natural soy or beeswax candles instead of conventional scented ones. These candles seem to be a far better alternative to candles made of petroleum-based paraffin wax since they’re less likely to release harmful chemicals. Opening windows after candles are extinguished can help to clear the air of any byproducts of combustion. Be careful about having candles near open windows, as they can blow flames or tip candles onto flammable surfaces.
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