Are Candles Killing Us?

Published on: 07/07/2011 23:16:53      Back to articles index


The popularity of electric diffusers has increased dramatically over the past 18 months and now there is an even greater reason to invest in one. An article published in the Daily Mail on 7th July 2011 discusses an issue that most of us have been aware of for a while; the damage from chemicals released by cheap candles.

The article states that the more expensive varieties made from beeswax and soy rarely cause problems, but the majority of those sold in the UK are cheap imports made from paraffin wax, a by-product of the petroleum industry. These have been shown to release an alarming range of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), substances that can be problematic to health.

When U.S. researchers burnt a range of candles in a laboratory for a study published two years ago, the chemicals released in harmful amounts included human carcinogens and chemicals known to cause asthma attacks, such as toluene and benzene. Dr Amid Hamidi of South Carolina University, who led the study, showed that paraffin-based candles produced ‘clear sharp peaks’ for many chemicals, mainly because they do not reach high enough temperatures when being burned to destroy the hazardous molecules they emit.

The article also identifies the issues of synthetic fragrance and dyes that also give off harmful particles when heated. The more expensive candles, perfumed with pure essential oils, are OK.

The beauty of the new range of diffusers is that pure essential oils are suspended in water and provide the purest form of aroma together with the essential oil properties. Another alternative is diffuser reeds as long as pure essential oils are used.

The moral of this story is always purchase the best quality candles, always use pure essential oils and steer clear of cheap candles and synthetic scents.

If you suffer from any form of asthmatic problems you will already know the bad effects of cheap candles and recognise the significant benefits of how diffusers not only offer light humidity and ionised air they offer a natural way of scenting a room.

The full article can be found at : Could Scented Candles Be Killing Us?

See a full range of diffusers at Primrose Aromatherapy

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