According to the National Candle Association (yes, there is such a thing), 7 out of 10 households in the United States use candles. If you suffer from allergies, you may wonder if burning candles, especially the scented kind, is safe. In fact, there has been a lot of debate about whether or not candles (and their wicks) are safe whether or not you have allergies. Unfortunately, the jury is out on that with many sources saying that they are completely harmless and others warning that they emit toxins when they’re burned. Much of the talk has been around paraffin candles, which are made from petroleum products and can produce harmful soot. It seems that the only thing that the two sides can agree on is that as long as candles are burned safely and properly, there shouldn’t be a problem. However, as with anything else, there is always a risk that a material or fragrance will trigger an allergy.
Other interesting facts from the NCA include:
- U.S. retail sales of candles are estimated at approximately $3.2 billion annually, excluding sales of candle accessories (Source: Mintel, 2015).
- Major U.S. candle manufacturers typically offer between 1,000 and 2,000 varieties of candles in their product lines.
- More than 1 billion pounds of wax are used in producing the candles sold each year in the U.S.
- It is estimated that more than 10,000 different candle scents are available to U.S. consumers.
- ASTM International standards organization currently exist for the fire-safety labeling of candles, the heat resistance of glass candleholders, the fire-safety design of candles and the fire-safety design and labeling of candleholders and candle rings.
What does it mean to burn a candle safely and properly?
First and foremost, when burning any candle, you should adhere to all fire safety requirements and never leave a burning candle on it’s own for an extended period of time. But you know that.
What you may not know is that it is also highly suggested by a number of sources that candle use should be done in moderation. The line of thinking is that even if the candles do release toxins, there is no proof that they are harmful in the short amount of time they are being released.
If you want to avoid the issue altogether, but aren’t ready to give up your candle addiction, you can look for candles made from only natural products. Green AmericaⓇ shares some resources for natural candle alternatives as well as candle-free aromatherapy.
If you think your candles may be triggering your allergy symptoms, schedule an appointment with our expert physicians at Westwood Ear, Nose and Throat and find out exactly what is causing them. Through patient-centered care and state-of-the-art diagnostic and treatment techniques, we’ll develop an individualized treatment plan perfect for you.
Call (888) 230-3715 and schedule an appointment at one of our four conveniently-located offices and find out how living without allergies can brighten your life.