Stressful living demands some ways to relax our bodies. Sometimes, it is enough to enjoy a hot bathtub and smell the delightful aroma of some aromatherapy candle. But these candles release lead or a carcinogenic substance in the air we breathe.

United States Environmental Protection Agency Research and Development, reported that the majority of the U.S. manufacturers avoid the use of lead in the candles’ wicks. Yet, apparently, 34.8 of the candles we use have been imported from Hong Kong and China, where rules and regulations are not that strict. This means that imported candles contain toxic ingredients.

EPA’s states that “Candles with lead wicks have the potential to generate indoor airborne lead concentrations of health concern. Moreover, despite the lack of lead, burning some candles surpassed the standards of the EPA and caused a greater risk of cancer due to the levels of formaldehyde, toluene, acrolein, acetaldehyde and benzene. These chemical compounds seriously damage our health, particularly the lungs.

Moreover, wax candles also lead to the production of soot, which is the black substance resulting from the flickering flame. “When soot is airborne, it is subject to inhalation. The particles can potentially penetrate the deepest areas of the lungs, the lower respiratory tract and alveoli (Krause, 1999).”

Candles scented with synthetic oils, as well paraffin candles are produced in a process which is in no way restricted by bands or rules. In particular, asthma patients are especially affected by the burning paraffin wax candles, as well as children and the elderly.

This harmful exposure mostly impacts the central nervous system and may result in:

* symptoms of phobic anxiety
* memory loss
* irritability
* changes in mood and personality
* depression
* neurobehavioral changes
* hyperactivity
* hypertension
* kidney disease
* sleeping disorders
* lethargy
* aggressiveness
* concentration issues
* appetite loss
* breathing difficulties
* learning issues

So when next time you choose candles, be careful. You should choose candles made from wax which is 100% based on vegetables, as they are toxic- free. Also, you are advised to not burn your candles close to a draft, as well as to trim wicks to 1¼4 inch, in order to lower the amount of soot.