A Hidden Danger in Scented Candles

Aromatherapy can prove beneficial for many reasons; however, you may want to reconsider your scented candles around your newborn. A hidden danger in scented candles could put your child’s health at risk. We’re not talking about the obvious fire hazard around young children. A research study was conducted which showed evidence that scented candles can be toxic and carcinogenic if left burning for prolonged periods.

The Risks You Should Know

Researchers at the Environmental Protection Agency found that some scented candle varieties can release dangerous chemicals such as benzene and ketones. These chemicals are known carcinogens that can pose serious long-term health risks. The risks are particularly high in heavy scented candles. The release of these chemicals inhaled over time can be very detrimental, especially to an infant’s developing lungs. It wasn’t just scented candles that posed this risk. Reports have also raised concerns over the long-term use of air fresheners and aerosols as well. 


Another serious risk to burning scented candles is the release of fine soot that goes undetected. After long periods of burning, the candle’s wick can slowly emit soot into the air. Scented candles in particular release more soot than unscented candles. This can cause serious problems if inhaled, especially to those with allergies

Tips to Consider Before Lighting

All hope is not lost for those who enjoy the fragrant scents and soothing glow that candles bring. There are some actions you can take to help safeguard your family from the hidden danger in scented candles. Opt for 100% soy or beesewax candles. These are considered safer alternatives than those composed of paraffin wax, which were found to contain the chemicals. Be sure to read the labels to ensure what they’re made of. Candles manufactured outside the U.S. can contain partial paraffin and some have been found to contain lead in the wicks.

Prior to lighting the candle, trim the wick to 1/4″ to prevent uneven burning. If you’re lighting a candle in a small room, such as the bathroom, open a window or implement good ventilation to keep the air moving. Keep the wax pool free from debris such as wick trimmings. Do not burn for longer than 2 hours and remove the candle from indoors when putting it out to reduce emissions of soot. If you notice soot coming from the wick upon lighting it, put it out immediately.

A general precaution that should always be taken when lighting a candle is never leave it unattended. Never place a lit candle near anything that is flammable. Always be sure to place candles out of reach from children.

Speak Your Mind


Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.