Health Risks of Paraffin Candles

I know that during this time of year many people like to set up candles around the house for the warm and relaxing atmosphere but don’t go crazy. The typical paraffin wax is packed with carcinogenic chemicals that when lit are released into the air. During an investigation of candle emissions, researchers burned a variety of candles in a lab and collected the mixture of substances they gave off. After analysis they found paraffin based candles (the most common type) gave off “clear sharp peaks” for many hazardous chemicals like toluene, benzene, soot, and lead, which are well known to be carcinogenic. People that use candles frequently such as during dinner and around the bathtub are most at risk. Burning the occasional candle might pose a risk to your health but it is nowhere near as hazardous as say smoking, or even second hand smoke. However, there are some measures you can take to reduce your risk while still getting to use candles at home. Avoid using your candles in poorly ventilated, closed, and small rooms. Instead keep some doors open, turn a fan on low, and use in large rooms. The scientists suggested using candles made from beeswax or soy, which are believed to be safer.