Scented candles are extremely popular among very busy individuals who like relying on aromatherapy to lower their stress levels at the end of a particularly exhausting day or week. Those that smell like jasmine, lavender, rosemary, lemon, pine and vanilla are just a few of the favorites.

Unfortunately, lighting scented candles can in fact do more harm than good, experts say. This is especially true for those that are cheap and mass-produced that smell nice because of artificial fragrances and not actual essential oils with science-backed health benefits.

So if currently there’s a scented candle in practically every corner of your home, keep on reading. Below you will come across some of the hidden dangers of using scented candles, according to experts.

Respiratory Issues

Cheap scented candles are out of paraffin wax, a material out of petroleum. According to scientists, paraffin wax releases what’s known as volatile organic compounds of VOCs into the air as they burn. The problem with VOCs is they’re very toxic as they contain poisonous chemicals such as toluene and benzene.

What’s more, experts say that paraffin wax releases soot particles that are very much comparable to diesel exhaust. These soot particles could remain suspended in the air for a long time, and then end up in the lungs and cause respiratory problems. And by the way, studies say that the amount soot particles emitted by scented candles out of paraffin wax is greater than their unscented counterparts.

Heavy Metal Poisoning

A lot of scented candles have cored wicks in which the wicks are wrapped with metal supports to keep them from going limp. In the past, lead was the leading material used by manufacturers of candles with cored wicks. But back in 2003 the production of candles with lead in their cored wicks were banned due to heavy metal poisoning risk.

If you think that the use of candles with cored wicks is safer these days, think again. According to experts, cored wicks containing zinc and tin could still release traces of heavy metals into the air.

Cancer

Scented candles are loved by many because of their pleasing aromas. Unfortunately, those that carry very cheap price tags do not really contain essential oils. Instead, what they have are artificial fragrances blended with one another in order to create the aromas of some of the most loved essential oils out there.

While they may smell good, the problem with candles containing artificial fragrances is that they may increase cancer risk. Aside from cancer, they’re also known to cause headaches, dizziness, nausea and asthma attacks in some individuals.

So what should you do if you are into aromatherapy but you don’t want to put your life in peril?

Instead of using cheap and mass-produced scented candles, go for essential oils that can be employed in a number of ways if you want to have your stress levels lowered. For instance, you may fill the room with the scent of your preferred essential oil through a diffuser. Some people simply place a few drops of essential oils in a bowl of boiling water.

Can’t say no to lighting candles? Then steer clear of those that you can find everywhere and obtain on a tight budget. Instead, opt for aromatherapy candles that are out of beeswax or soy. They may be more expensive than the rest but you can rest assured that they won’t put your health in peril.

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