Scented candles have been a popular addition to homes for many years, with their pleasant fragrances and cozy ambiance. However, recent concerns have arisen over whether burning scented candles does more harm than good. We asked the experts to weigh in on this topic.
The primary concern with scented candles is the release of harmful chemicals into the air. When burned, many aromatic candles are made from paraffin wax, which can release chemicals such as benzene, toluene, and formaldehyde. These chemicals have been linked to respiratory problems and other health issues. In addition, many scented candles contain artificial fragrances, which can release harmful chemicals into the air when burned.
According to Dr. Sumita Khatri, a pulmonologist at the Cleveland Clinic, “Scented candles can release several volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can irritate the eyes, nose, and throat and cause headaches, dizziness, and even asthma symptoms in people who are sensitive to them.”
However, not all scented candles are created equal. Many options that use natural waxes, such as soy or beeswax, and essential oils for fragrance instead of synthetic fragrances are available. These alternatives are much less likely to release harmful chemicals into the air when burned.
It’s also important to consider the ventilation in your home when burning scented candles. You can reduce the concentration of chemicals in the air by having good airflow and opening your windows. On the other hand, if you are burning candles in a small, poorly ventilated space, the concentration of chemicals could be much higher.
So, is burning scented candles doing more harm than good? The answer is not black and white. While traditional paraffin wax candles with artificial fragrances can release harmful chemicals into the air, many alternatives are much safer available. Additionally, the ventilation in your home plays a significant role in the concentration of chemicals in the air. As with many things in life, moderation is key. Burning the occasional scented candle is unlikely to cause harm. Still, if you are burning candles daily, alternatives such as essential oil diffusers or natural wax candles are worth considering.