Burning candles in the home not only makes your house smell good but also adds a sense of warmth and comfort. However, burning candles can come with a price that isn’t worth the dangers they pose. Let’s take a look at the hidden dangers of burning candles in the home.
Respiratory Problems and Allergies
Burning candles in the home can trigger respiratory issues such as asthma and can worsen or trigger allergies. Most candles are made with paraffin wax, which is derived from petroleum. When the candle wax burns and evaporates, it releases soot and chemicals into the air. This particulate matter can impact breathing and allergies.
Impacts Indoor Air Quality
Perhaps the biggest hidden danger of burning candles in the home is the impact on your indoor air quality. Indoor air is already as much as five times more polluted than air outside, especially when the home has been closed up combined with modern air-tight building techniques. Burning paraffin wax candles releases carcinogenic chemicals such as toluene, benzene, formaldehyde, acetaldehyde and acrolein. These chemicals then recirculate in your indoor air for an indefinite period of time, usually long after you’ve out the candle out.
Candles can easily catch fire to nearby items such as loose clothing, drapes, furniture, blankets, books, magazines and other items. Drafts and vents can cause flames to bend and can cause rapid or uneven burning an excessive sooting. Children and pets can knock over candles, causing fire to spread quickly throughout the home. Burning candles is a risky activity and should only be undertaken if you are there to supervise the burning candle the entire time and keep it out of reach of children and animals.
It’s important to know the hidden dangers of burning candles in the home. Aside from being a fire hazard, burning candles can cause respiratory problems, allergies and can negatively impact your indoor air quality. If you can’t do without burning candles, only use candles made from soy or beeswax with soot-free wicks. While these candles will cost a bit more, you’ll have peace of mind that you aren’t causing respiratory issues or polluting your indoor air. And as always, make sure any burning candle is supervised and out of reach of kids and pets.