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Chemicals and pollutants: scented candles can harm health
Baked apple, orange cinnamon or vanilla: scented candles are very popular, especially in the Advent and Christmas season. With the scents in their noses, many people are in the mood for the happy festival. However, burning the candles can also harm your health. Infants in particular can suffer from this.
Get in the mood for the happy holiday with Christmas scents
In the cold season and especially in the Advent and Christmas season, many people want to bring warmth, comfort and romantic light into the apartment with candles. Scented candles with Christmas scents are currently very popular. With gingerbread, baked apple or zimar flavor you can get in the mood for the happy festival. But many scented candles also pose a health risk. The products can be particularly dangerous for small children.
Scented candles can be problematic for people who suffer from a fragrance allergy. With them, the scents quickly lead to discomfort or occasionally breathing problems.
In addition, contact with the candles in allergy sufferers can cause allergic skin reactions such as eczema or rashes.
But even people who do not suffer from an allergy sometimes react to the burning of scented candles with symptoms such as headache, cough, watery eyes or nausea.
The different ingredients of the candles can be to blame.
For example, experts advise against paraffin candles. Burning off this petroleum product releases pollutants that can cause headaches, among other things.
Pesticides and heavy metals such as zinc and lead can also pose a health hazard.
Gel candles and synthetically scented candles can also cause symptoms such as cough, dizziness, nausea, headache and allergic reactions.
Scented candles can promote cancer
According to British scientists, some scented candles can even promote cancer, as they sometimes release enormous amounts of formaldehyde.
Formaldehyde is toxic, can lead to cancer and can even trigger nosebleeds, coughing or burning eyes in lower doses.
As the researchers at the University of York found in a study, the concentrations found in the investigated products were significantly higher than expected.
Danger especially for small children
Scented candles, scented sticks and scented lamps that burn essential oils can also be dangerous for infants and toddlers.
This is what the professional association of pediatricians (BVKJ) points out on its website "kinderaerzte-im-netz.de".
"Even though many of the scented candles, sticks and lamps contain natural essential oils, they are harmful to children," explains Dr. Josef Kahl, spokesman for pediatricians.
“The combustion releases, among other things, fine dust, soot and in some cases even formaldehyde and is distributed in the air. They can irritate the skin and mucous membranes and also trigger allergies, ”said the expert.
Refrain from flavoring the rooms
In addition, according to the doctor, essential oils in gel form or as a liquid can be swallowed by small children.
“And like with candles, there is also a risk of burns here. Wherever there are children, you should avoid flavoring rooms, ”says the doctor.
"Scented candles, sticks and lamps as well as the associated oils and gels must also be kept out of the reach of infants and young children," warns Kahl.
Extinguish candles without smoke
Those who still want to use scented candles should resort to environmentally friendly products, according to experts.
In particular, candles made of 100 percent beeswax are recommended. Although these are more expensive, they burn more slowly than paraffin, for example, and therefore have a longer lifespan.
And no matter what products are used: candles should best be extinguished soot-free and smoke-free.
The German Federation for the Environment and Nature Conservation (BUND) recommends that you briefly flick the candle wick when you make it out, dip it in the liquid wax and then straighten it up quickly.
Not only is there no smoke, but the method also has the advantage that the candle can be lit better next time. (ad)