MANY homes are filled with the scent of candles in the evenings to create a cozy feeling.
However, one chemist has said people should be “careful” about how often they light candles because of their potentially harmful health risks.
dr Dan Gubler, a doctor of chemistry and former professor, said candles are a form of indoor pollution that people often don’t think about.
He said in a TikTok video that’s quickly going viral that inhaling candle fumes is “not good for the body.”
He warned: “Many clinical studies have appeared recently showing that frequent burning of candles indoors can cause serious health problems, including inhibiting the ability of cells, particularly in the bladder, to grow normally.
“Candles are made from cheap paraffin wax, they are made from artificial fragrances and colors.
“And when we burn that, it produces carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, benzopyrene, toluene and other volatile compounds.
“They are not good for the body. They affect the body’s ability to reproduce [cells].”
dr Gubler said there is “no quality control” to ensure candles are safe.
“We just buy these and breathe them in, and that’s a big problem,” he said.
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“So be careful. If you light a candle in a well-ventilated space every once in a while, I wouldn’t worry about it. But chronic burning could be a big deal.”
What is the evidence?
There is no direct evidence that candle use can lead to disease.
Still, many research teams have theorized that the toxic fumes produced by wax and wick could be harmful in the long term.
Some studies show that burning paraffin releases volatile compounds – like toluene, which Dr. Gubler was mentioned – and these have been linked to a higher risk of cancer.
However, some experts argue that the amount of volatile compounds released by candles is so small that it has not been shown to cause cancer in humans.
For example, a 2007 study funded by the European Candle Association examined all major types of wax for 300 toxic chemicals.
The researchers found that the amount of chemicals released from each type of candle was well below the amount that would cause health problems in humans, Healthline reported.
A study that Dr. Gubler previously warned that burning candles in poorly ventilated spaces can lead to bladder cancer over the long term.
The paper states that “the occasional use of scented candles is unlikely to have any carcinogenic effects.”
But “burning scented candles frequently for years and using them in poorly ventilated spaces can hypothetically increase the risk of bladder cancer.”
Scientists from South Carolina State University claimed that long-term exposure to fumes given off by paraffin wax could lead to cancer, allergies and asthma.
dr Ruhullah Massoudi, who worked on the 2009 study, said: “For a person who lights a candle every day for years or only uses it frequently, inhaling these dangerous pollutants floating in the air could lead to the development of health risks such as cancer contribute to general allergies and even asthma.”
Based on this study, experts from Cancer Research UK and the British Lung Foundation said people should be reassured that there is no direct link between candle use and serious health problems.
But if you’re a fan of candles, it might be wise to open a window when lighting one.
This is especially true if you have breathing problems like asthma and find your symptoms worsen around candles.
https://www.thesun.ie/health/8748420/warning-burning-candles-at-home-potentially-serious-health-risks/ Warning to anyone lighting candles at home of ‘potentially serious health risks’