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Candles and Indoor Air Quality

People love candles not only because they smell good, but because of the warmth and atmosphere they give off. However, candles can also contribute to poor indoor air quality. Here's how: How Can Candles Be Harmful? When you burn a candle, especially paraffin-based, they release a wide range of harmful carcinogenic toxins into the air and can cause the formation of soot. Soot can stain walls, ceilings, and fabrics. Not only can this be bad for your lungs, but for your ductwork as well.

Potential Health Risks When you inhale smoke from a scented candle, you may experience

  • Itchy and watery eyes

  • Blocked nasal passages

  • Headaches

  • Asthma-like complications

  • Prolonged skin irritations

The potential health risks associated with burning candles aren't severe enough to never light one inside your home again. However, here are some steps you can take to lessen your concerns:

  • Avoid burning candles in unventilated rooms

  • Choose unscented or natural candles made from beeswax that do not contain as many chemicals as those made from paraffins.

  • Never purchase candles with a metal insert.

  • Buy candles with a thin wick. This can help limit the amount of soot the candle produces.

  • Don’t burn candles for longer than one or two hours per day.

  • Invest in an Air Purifier Is your indoor air quality suffering? Call 72 Degrees Comfort Company at 515-965-7272 or email us at

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