Do Scented Candles Affect Air Quality?
If you want to create a gratifying ambiance in your home, scented candles are the easiest way to do this. Just by lighting a scented candle, you will fill the room with a sweet fragrance of your favorite flower, spice, or dream garden. At Baba Me, we stock such candles, and you can order one or two of your preferred scents today. Note that all our candles are made from soy wax, which we will get to in a while.
Given that candles release substances into the air as they burn, the discussion on whether scented candles affect air quality has been going on for a while. Unfortunately, it is widely agreed that most scented candles will harm the Indoor Air Quality (IAQ). This will nonetheless depend on several factors from the type of wax and fragrance used to the wick of the candle.
Most scented candles have paraffin wax, which is a by-product of petroleum. When the wax is burned, it releases toxic volatile organic compounds into the air, including benzene, acetone, and toluene- all known as carcinogens. These are the same compounds released in diesel fuel emissions linked to asthma attacks, skin problems, and allergies. According to researchers, it would take years of continued use of paraffin wax to be a significant health risk.
Paraffin wax also produces a considerable amount of soot. Once airborne, these ultrafine soot particles are inhaled, penetrate the deepest parts of the lungs, and absorbed into the bloodstream. These particles are associated with some respiratory diseases, asthma, strokes, heart attacks, and even cancer.
There are also scented candles that use chemicals to create a pleasing aroma. When burnt, these synthetic fragrances and dyes give off dangerous, volatile organic compounds, including alcohol, esters, limonene, and formaldehyde. The compound may cause dizziness, respiratory tract infections, allergic reactions, and asthma attacks.
Since the fragrance oils soften the wax, many scented candles with cotton wicks wrap the cotton around a metal support. In the past, most cored wicks had lead as the metal support, and today, tin and zinc are generally used. Research shows that metal-core wicks release trace amounts of heavy metal when burnt.
Whereas you may not feel the negative health effects of candles that use paraffin wax, synthetic fragrances, or metal cores immediately, research shows that the effects may appear in the long term.
Therefore, it is advisable to use natural candles. This will have the minimum effects on the air quality of your home.
- Soy wax candles- Soy wax candles, like those we sell at Baba Me, do not contain toxic pollutants. They also produce significantly less soot and burn slower than paraffin products, and are suitable for vegans.
- Beeswax candles
- Natural fragrances- These fragrances are created from essential oils derived from flowers and plants. Unlike synthetic fragrances, they do not release dangerous toxins.
If you want to enjoy sweet natural candles that will not affect the air quality of your home, order one today.
Next Up: Should You Burn Candles in Your Bedroom?