Paraffin, Scented Candles Can Cause Cancer, Study Reveals

American Chemical Society warns of the health dangers of such products

By on August 25th, 2009 19:21 GMT
Women’s undying love for scented candles seems to be just one of the many mysteries men can’t understand, no matter what. Whichever the reason behind it, though, it’s not something that will go away anytime soon, as ladies have shown in recent years they’re determined to stick with this one. A new study and warning issued by the American Chemical Society might make them change their mind, since it shows paraffin, scented candles can actually cause cancer if lit on a daily basis, the Daily Mail informs.

Naturally scented, beeswax (or soy or vegetable) candles are OK, no matter how often we want to light them, the study says. Those that contain paraffin and artificial scents are not, though, being linked to a plethora of affections, including asthma attacks, lung cancer and all sorts of allergies. Still, those who light one or two candles every now and then when they take a bath are not in any serious danger, the study adds: it’s those who do it every day and then inhale the toxic fumes that should consider themselves warned.

“The annual conference of the American Chemical Society has let it be known that scented candles made from paraffin wax give off toluene, benzene, and a host of other toxins linked to asthma, eczema and cancer.” the Mail writes on the findings of the study. Benzene and toluene, which are released in the air when the paraffin is burnt, are dangerous and we should avoid inhaling them no matter what, experts agree. So, if we’re really that hooked on scented candles, we might as well look for natural variants and steer clear of artificial products.

“Benzene and toluene are solvents that are used industrially to make glue and gloss paint. When people sniff glue, it is solvents like this that are making them high. Benzene particularly is a known carcinogen – i.e. it has been proven to cause cancer. It’s not a substance that I would ever expose myself to in the lab.” Dr. Andy Beeby, chemistry expert from Durham University, shares for the Mail.

The trick with learning about the dangerous ingredients in scented candles (that is, paraffin, parabens, which are “chemicals used in preservatives that can cause allergic reactions,” and artificial scents) is that most of these products do not disclose this type of information because it’s considered a trade secret, the Mail further explains. However, candles made with all-natural ingredients are bound to put that on the package, while it will also be reflected in the pricing, so this is where we should start first. 

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Scented candles made of paraffin and with artificial scents are dangerous for our health, study says
   Scented candles made of paraffin and with artificial scents are dangerous for our health, study says
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