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How Scented Candles Can Impact Your Health

By Sara Butler

When the weather outside is a bit frightful, it can be a lifesaver to create a cozy environment indoors to help you melt the stress away. For a lot of people that may mean lighting a scented candle to relax with, but if you reach for one, then you may be doing more harm than good. These candles can contain all kinds of unhealthy irritants and chemicals that don't belong anywhere near the word cozy. Here’s what you need to know about scented candles and how they may be impacting your overall health.

How Bad Are They?

If you’re lighting a scented candle a couple of times a week in a room that has good ventilation, then you probably don’t have a lot to worry about. Or at least, the worries are negligible. But if you’re lighting them up on a daily basis in a small space, such as a bathroom, you may want to reconsider that decision.

Some Have Toxic Chemicals

Many scented candles on the market are made out of something called paraffin. Paraffin is derived from coal, shale, or crude oil and can contain chemicals such as toluene and benzene that can be harmful to your health. Both of those chemicals are on the known carcinogen list of the American Cancer Society.

The fragrance added to some of these candles can also contain phthalates, which are known endocrine disruptors. They have been found to promote fertility issues as well as cancer.

The Environmental Protection Agency has stated that burning several scented candles a week can expose you to the chemicals acetaldehyde and formaldehyde, increasing your cancer risk.

They Can Be Triggers

If you suffer from allergies or asthma, then you may want to reconsider burning scented candles in your home. According to a study published by the American Chemical Society, paraffin wax candles can be a source of trouble for people who suffer from asthma and allergies. They might make air quality in your home worse, causing breathing problems and triggering health issues.

How to Get Your Candle Fix

If you love the warm glow of candles in your home, you don’t have to give them up cold turkey. Beeswax candles pose fewer risks to your health than paraffin wax. They also emit a naturally sweet smell without the added chemicals.

If beeswax is off the table for you and you must continue using candles, just make sure you’re using them in a room that has proper ventilation and try to use them infrequently.

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic.

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