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Thursday
Jan262012

Hazards of Scented Candles

Scented Candles can cause both safety and health hazards:

-Its said that Candles are one of the biggest causes of residential fires every year resulting in injury and even death.  People get busy or accidents, some even involving children and pets happen unfortunately. Some candles have design flaws that increase the risk of fire or even have paper and ribbons attached that increase the risk of fire.  Some candles have caught fire purely because they have gotten so hot they caught fire with themselves. (6)

-Soot is a common problem with candles and inhalation has known health hazards.  Wick trimming helps but its better to avoid wicks alltogether.

-Some wicks have lead cores which can cause behaviour problems and organ damage.  Zinc is more common now for wicks although lead wicks are still out there.  To check for lead in a wick you can:

 Clip off a bit of the wick and remove the cotton covering to expose the core. If the core appears to be metal, rub it on a piece of white paper. If it leaves a dark pencil-like mark, it is lead and is hazardous to use.  A zinc core wick will leave little or no mark at all and is safe to use.  The best option however, is to use candles that have no metal core in the wick. (1)

-The liquid wax can burn although probably not seriously.

-Paraffin Wix gives off harmful fumes linked to lung cancer and asthma. Burning candles does not produce high enough temperatures to combust hazardous chemicals such as toluene and benzene.  Lighting the occasional candle you'll probably be fine, "but lighting many paraffin candles every day for years or lighting them frequently in an unventilated room could cause problems."  (4) (5)

With so many hazards associated with scented candles, its better to avoid using them except for special occasions.  For everyday use, Scentsy is a far better alternative.

 

Benefits of Scentsy Scented Candles

-Scentsy flameless candles are electric so there's no flame and no risk of accidents.

-If children or pets accidentally knock over the Scentsy warmer, you have wax to clean up whereas with regular candles there's the risk of fire damage.

-Scentsy candles are lead and wick free.  The wax is made of food grade parrafin (the same kind of wax you get on apples).  No risk of harmful chemicals with Scentsy.

-No wick therefore no soot problems.

-More economical than most candles on the market and last longer also. 

-No worries about damaging the rain forest which soy farming (soy candles) has been accused of doing. (7)

 

Resources

1)Types of Candle Wicks

2) Sweet Smelling Danger?

3) 'Candle'

4) Candle use linked to Cancer Risk

5) How a Romantic Candelit Dinner can Give you Cancer

6) Candle Safety- by Health Canada

7) Soy Damage in Brazil

 

 

 

 

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