Scented candles create a warm, fragrant glow that is often associated with a good mood and a joyful, festive spirit. But did you know that these seemingly harmless items can pose health risks? Dr. Vipul Gupta, Director of Neurointervention and Co-Head of Stroke Unit at Artemis Agrim Institute of Neurosciences, Artemis Hospital Gurugram, shares the health risks of using scented candles.
“Scented candles have become synonymous with relaxation and creating a relaxing environment, but there are potential dangers associated with prolonged exposure to their fumes. While the pleasant scent may be enticing, it is essential to recognize that scented candles emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are harmful to indoor air. can adversely affect quality,” warns Dr. Gupta.
VOCs released when burning scented candles include chemicals such as benzene and toluene, which are known to have harmful effects on respiratory health. Chronic inhalation of these compounds has been linked to shortness of breath and headaches and, in extreme cases, can exacerbate conditions such as asthma, according to doctors.
Furthermore, Dr. Gupta highlights that certain candle wicks contain lead, which releases toxic fumes into the air when burned. “Inhalation of lead emissions poses serious health risks, especially to pregnant women, children and people with compromised immune systems,” he stressed.
To mitigate the potential risks associated with scented candles, Dr. Gupta recommends choosing candles made from natural ingredients like soy or beeswax. These alternatives produce less harmful byproducts when burned and are considered safer alternatives for indoor use. “Ensuring proper ventilation when burning scented candles can help disperse any pollutants and reduce their concentration in enclosed spaces. Also, limit the duration of candle use and be aware of symptoms such as dizziness or shortness of breath, which may indicate an adverse reaction. smoke,” said Dr. Gupta.
So while you prioritize sensory pleasure, keep in mind the health considerations associated with these popular decorative items, says Dr. Gupta. He added, “Before lighting scented candles, it is wise to weigh the potential dangers and make informed choices for a healthy and safe festive season.”