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Study: Scented Candles As Toxic As Diesel Exhaust Fumes

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Study: Scented Candles As Toxic As Diesel Exhaust Fumes

Natalie Cone October 1, 2017

candle scented Pixabay 310x210 Study: Scented Candles as Toxic as Diesel Exhaust FumesAccording to a study, many scented candles emit carcinogenic chemicals comparable to diesel exhaust fumes.

Scented candles are popular in most households, used to create a pleasant atmosphere or cover odors. Many scented candles are made containing benzene, toluene, and lead, which are known carcinogens.

In one study, the emissions from a burning candle, whether clean or sooty, were found to be full of toxins. The study also indicated the candles may increase the blood lead levels in children.

“The fine particulate matter collected from candle emissions was similar to that of diesel engine exhaust in particle size, morphology, elemental carbon content, and adsorbed chemical constituents, although lacking detectable quantities of PAHs,” the study concludes.

The chemicals in the emissions also linger long after the flame has been put out.

“Due to the lower air exchange rates in newer homes,” the study states, “the residence time of emissions were determined to continue for up to 10 hours after extinguishing a candle.”

City Watch LA suggests that trimming the wick and using soy- or beeswax-based candles can significantly reduce the soot and chemical emissions. Additionally, if a candle is free of carcinogenic compounds, the label is likely to define that.

Even “clean burning” candles can still release dangerous particles that are easily pulled into the lungs. City Watch LA suggests to leave a window open near the candle to allow the benzene-laced fumes to vent out.

Benzene exposure is a serious danger, and consumers can never be cautious enough. It has been linked to life-threatening illnesses such as acute myeloid leukemia (AML), myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), lymphomas and aplastic anemia. Benzene-related illnesses are a particular danger to those who work in close proximity to the chemical. Occupations such as auto mechanics, floor cleaners, steel workers, lab technicians and more have a higher risk of benzene exposure due to their work environment.


 

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