How Scented Candles Can Kill You

There’s few people out there who deny that a burning candle in a room gives a homey, romantic, comfortable ambiance that is hard to replicate with much else. There are huge names in the candle business – Bath and Body Works and Yankee Candles are prime examples. Candles are considered one of the very best gifts to give someone – and are one of the top ten gifts given at Christmas. Long gone are the days of pillar or stick candles (Although these are available for more traditional events like church services) – now many candles have three wicks and hours and hours of burning time. Even the name of many of the candles can suck a consumer right in – “Home For The Holidays,” “Beachside Summer” – terms that conjure lovely memories and excitement of things to come.

And let’s face it, homes can be smelly. Bathrooms, garbage cans, diaper pails, litter boxes, dirty clothes hampers, dank basements, cooked cabbage in the fridge – the list goes on, but most people have a least one scented candle in their arsenal in case company arrives – even something simple, like pure vanilla. Many people burn candles whenever they are home, and candles have even been classified by some as an addiction. Certainly they are pricey – the average Yankee Candle costs about $25, although there are often buy one, get one free sales at the major manufacturers. The United States’ obsession with candles is shared by Europe, and the stores, parties that sell them, and ways to enjoy them only seem to increase as time goes on.

But there’s a problem we’ve been ignoring. Like most things that we like a lot, there’s specific ways that candles can really harm you – in fact, kill you, according to Pop Sugar, not to mention your unborn baby. There’s been robust studies with excellent data that confirm a link of just being around unscented candles and birth defects -with means an expectant mother doesn’t even need to be near a lit candle to pose a risk to her unborn child, the study found. Among the problems that have been found that affect individuals themselves and not the unborn, the study listed a few maladies that have been linked to inhaling scented candles, whether they are burning or not.

“…an array of hazardous substances which may cause lung damage and tumors, interfere with our hormones, and cause such lifelong problems as asthma…”

Scarily enough, the risk isn’t just candles but anything that is vaporized, aerosoled, or inhaled. Popular brand SC Johnson, which makes Glade products, known for a vast array of scent makers, including air fresheners, plug-ins, and candles, is just one major Unites Sates company that has faced harsh inquiry for its reportedly harmful synthetic ingredients. In defense of its practices, the company directly addresses this information on the SC Johnson site and states the company uses “the most comprehensive database worldwide of safety evaluations for fragrance materials.”

According to The Daily Mail, all chemical sprays are extremely popular, but researchers warn that they can include an abysmal mix of hazardous substances, which may cause lung damage and tumors that can be cancerous, and interfere with our hormones and DNA replication, not to mention cause such lifelong problems as asthma.

Regardless of the issues that are currently being questioned about the safety of candles, it is likely prudent for those who are ill or pregnant to stay away for the time being, and we may want to re-think how we deodorize and decorate our homes in the future. Has the current culture become too obsessed with only smelling “nice, sanitized” things? Sound off in the comments below.

Editor’s note: The Inquisitr’s editorial staff has been contacted by the National Candle Association regarding this story, disputing the nature of the information provided by the above sources.

“The health-related implications and statements about scented candles posed in the piece are absolutely unsubstantiated by current, validated science.

The safety of scented candles is backed by decades of research, fragrance testing, and a history of safe use. There are no known health hazards associated with the use of scented candles. The candle industry is acutely focused on safety and continues to participate in research on the safety of its products. Health and safety studies are conducted for all fragrance materials used in candles, including toxicological and dermatological tests. These tests are required by regulators, and they are taken very seriously.”

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