Does burning candles harm your health? Experts Describe.
In recent years, almost all of us have given greater consideration to the air that we breathe. This is particularly true in light of the double whammy posed by the pandemic caused by the coronavirus and the rise in the number of wildfires caused by climate change.
According to Daniel Croft M.D., M.P.H., an assistant professor of pulmonary and critical care medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center, “Paying attention to the air quality in your house is a crucial aspect of remaining in good health.”
Because everything that we breathe in, both the good and the bad, has the potential to have an influence on our whole bodies, it only makes sense to rid the air in our homes of germs, smoke, and hazardous chemicals.
But is it possible that by lighting candles we are unintentionally contributing to the problem of polluted indoor air?
Are the candles scented with vanilla, cinnamon, and eucalyptus, which we like so much, doing us any harm? We dived headfirst into the study, as well as talked with many authorities, to determine whether or not candles really are hazardous to our health.
Let’s go right to the question at hand: Is it harmful to our health to burn candles?
It’s a tricky situation. According to Meghan E. Rebuli, Ph.D., a respiratory toxicologist and assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, “potential concerns of burning candles in indoor spaces include inhalation of soot from candle smoke, volatile and semi-volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and particulate matter (PM).”
The amount of soot, volatile organic compounds, and particulate matter produced by burning candles in an indoor setting that simulates “normal” household use has been found to be well below the threshold of concern in a number of different studies.
These studies have found this to be the case regardless of the type of candle that was burned.
Having said that, some kinds of candles, particularly ones made with paraffin wax and scented candles, are likely to produce higher amounts of potentially harmful chemicals and particles in the air inside of a building, despite the fact that these levels are unlikely to be of considerable concern.
What are the possible dangers to one’s health while using candles?
According to Dr. Croft, research shows that inhaling PM over long periods of time is linked to asthma attacks, exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), increased risk of cardiac events, as well as stroke and other neurologic conditions. However, the majority of research is not specific to candles.
According to Dr. Croft, “sometimes you can see visible smoke or soot coming off of the candle, which means there is probably some degree of particulate matter that is discharged into the air.” “I believe the most important question asked in the research is, ‘Well, is it enough?’
Do we have an excessive amount of particle matter? Is there sufficient to do injury to someone? In toxicology, the dosage creates the poison, thus customers and individuals who use candles should be aware of this concept.
I believe this to be the single most crucial piece of information they should have. Therefore, when considering the emissions that come from a candle, the number of candles that are lit, the size of the candle, the length of time that it is burning, and the size of the room are all factors that have an impact on how much exposure there is.
No research has been conducted as of yet that has established the risk threshold and identified precisely how many candles in a room of a certain size without ventilation may cause damage. Dr. Croft recommends that individuals evaluate their surroundings and make an effort to obtain a sense of what a candle contributes to a setting and at what point it may become overwhelming.
Until this occurs, individuals should follow Dr. Croft’s advice. According to Dr. Croft, ventilation is certainly the most crucial issue to consider when thinking about the quality of the air within a building.
Research conducted in 2021 discovered that the amount of work required to purge the air of the carbon dioxide produced by two candles in a room is equivalent to the amount of effort required to purge the air of the carbon dioxide produced by the exhalation of a single individual weighing 176 pounds.
So, as Dr. Croft points out, if you can picture what it would be like to be in a claustrophobic room with an excessive number of people, you’ll see why adequate ventilation is the solution for a situation with an excessive number of people or candles.