Anorak | Scare Story Of The Day: Why Smoking Candles Is Bad For You (A Daily Mail Shocker)

Scare Story Of The Day: Why Smoking Candles Is Bad For You (A Daily Mail Shocker)

by | 7th, July 2011

SCARE Story of The Day is provided by the Daily Mail’s Peta Bee, who asks readers:

“Could scented candles kill you? They’re many women’s favourite indulgence – but their fumes are as toxic as cigarettes.”

Who does Peta B (P-to-B?) think women enjoy scanted candles during a post-coital recline? On the way how from the school run? In a pack of twenty on a night out?

Reading on we are told:

Few homes are without the wafting perfume of a scented candle from time to time. We light them to infuse a room with fragrance, to add a romantic ambiance to a meal and to make bathtimes more luxurious.

And to get a hit from their smoke.

But could the very candles used to soothe our mood actually be bad for us?


Research has shown some scented candles produce smoke laced with almost as many toxins as those produced by cigarettes.

Which candles, Peta Bee? The ones you roll yourself?

Since they are often lit in poorly ventilated rooms, such as bathrooms, or during the evening when windows are likely to be closed, the release of chemicals can cause indoor pollution that is potent enough to raise the risk of asthma, eczema and skin complaints.

Any examples?

When U.S. researchers burnt a range of candles in a laboratory for a study published two years ago, the chemicals released in harmful amounts included human carcinogens and chemicals known to cause asthma attacks, such as toluene and benzene.

Two years ago? Which means that for two years Mail readers have been risking their health with these candles! And why have they not been banned?

Dr Amid Hamidi of South Carolina University, opines:

“An occasional paraffin candle and its emissions will probably not affect you. But lighting many of them every day for years, or lighting them frequently in an unventilated bathroom, for example, may cause problems.”

So. If you light lots of scented candles in your home very day for years, you might be damaged? Anorak thinks that anyone so obsessed with the smell of hot wax and burning petunias is already beyond help and damaged in the head.

And who is Dr Hamidi? Does Bee mean the “ student researcher “? And who funded this research that says soy candles are safer?

The industry has an obvious interest in keeping the focus squarely on the romance. But it also pointed out that Massoudi and Hamidi are financed by a Department of Agriculture grant under the project title “Soybean Candles for Healthy Life and Well-Being” — part of a grant system meant to fund research that could boost farm product sales.

The industry’s own  report states:

“The total VOC emissions from the reference candles were very low… TVOC air levels for all wax types averaged less than 2 percent of the applicable indoor air-quality standard. No benzene emissions were detected in any of the reference candles.”

Undeterred by these facts, Bee presses on:

It’s not just the candle wax that is potentially dangerous. Top-of-the-range candles are scented with natural perfumes or essential oils. But since they are costly and difficult to add in large quantities, many of the mass-market products contain synthetic fragrances and sometimes dyes that can give off harmful particles when they are heated.

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Posted: 7th, July 2011 | In: News Comments (3) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink