Assortment of decorative scented candles shot on a white background.

Scented Candles and Air Fresheners Pose Dangerous Health Risks

I used to love candles, especially in the autumn and winter. If I wasn’t making cookies that day to make the house smell good, lighting a candle was so easy. I even went to and purchased warmers and candle holders from one of those home party companies. However, the more research I did the more I realized that what was being burned off and was then lingering in my home, wasn’t good for me. Researchers are now finding that too.

And it’s not just the candles but those plug-ins, as well. Oh, and don’t forget the aerosol scented cans. Throw them all away- now.

The researchers found that long-term candle use can cause tumors, lung damage and asthma. In fact, the chemicals (like formaldehyde or paraffin) can transform the structure of our DNA. “As for air fresheners, they’ve been linked to lifelong health issues like asthma and an interference with hormones. Public Health England’s Center for Radiation, Chemical and Environmental Hazards found that these fresheners contain “considerable levels of formaldehyde,” which can cause nose and throat cancer”, according to the Town and Country article.

A study published in 2013 (in International Journal of Public Health) also found that pregnant women who had used air fresheners were more likely to have babies who suffered from wheezing and lung infections. Scarier still is that the researchers found you didn’t even need to light the candle for it to be a danger for you; studies have shown that just touching it allows for some absorption of chemicals and simple evaporation also leaves traces in your home. No smell or ambiance is worth that. Taken as a whole, they don’t seem worth it to me.

However, there are alternatives, like organic candles or essential oils. The best way to spread the lovely scent of essential oils would be to use a diffuser or make a room spray. There are an seemingly infinite amount of combinations you can use depending on your mood and while many of them aid in the elevation of mood (aromatherapy has been around for 6000 years), others have medicinal properties. Diffusers can be purchased at a health food store or online. I love mine, use it everyday and can’t say enough good things about it! Visit your local health food store and pick one up, you’ll be glad you did once you smell the amazing aroma of Orange, Cinnamon, Clove, and Nutmeg wafting in your entire home!

XO- Erin

Sourcec: Town and Country