Lighting candles for romance or for aromatherapy can be something we do without a second thought. But what if there is a downside to having candles burning soothing fragrances around your home? Could this be affecting your air quality?
It seems as though air quality scientists are raising flags on burning candles and their ability to emit some pollutants like toluene, acetone, benzene and styrene into the air. Indoor air pollution and related health problems are increasingly more common, but could this be due to the also increasing popularity of scented candles?
Candle soot, is the source of the bright whitish-yellow light that candles emit. If a candle doesn’t contain soot, the flame will burn blue. Soot is a product of an incomplete combustion of carbon containing fuels, as well as being petroleum based. It is known to discolor walls, furniture, as well as polluting your home’s ventilation system.
Little to no research has been conducted on the health effects related to exposure to candle soot, but it’s known that soot particles are small, and therefore could penetrate deep areas in the lung.
All of this might sound a little scary, but there are some ways to minimize indoor air pollution from candles.
5 Tips To Minimize Air Pollution From Candles
1. Ensure that you have an efficient Air Filtration System. Doing so is only half the battle.
2. Burn only soy or beeswax candles. These tend to burn cleaner than traditional candles, which burn with paraffin wax, a petroleum product. Try to only burn candles made of hard wax.
3. Avoid thick wicks, wicks with wire cores and candles with multiple wicks. Also try trimming the wick to ¼ inch before lighting.
4. Avoid heavily aromatic candles, and ensure the scent was specifically formulated for candles. Also, extinguish candles after one hour of continuous burning and allow them to cool before relighting.
5. Try not to use candles that are poured into glass jars or ceramic containers. Also increase ventilation in the rooms where the candle is burning, but away from direct drafts.