- Vanilla, lavender and
other scented candles can make a home seem cozy
and inviting for the
holidays, but such candles may also be hazardous to
health, according to the American Lung Association (ALA).
- Burning candles,
particularly the scented and slow-burning
types, may release lead,
mercury and other toxins into the air, the ALA
says. These types of
candles often have shiny metal wicks made of pure
lead or a mixture
containing lead, according to an ALA notice. The lead
small and may float through the air for extended periods
of time, then
settle on furniture and carpet where they can be touched
by children, adults, and pets.
- In large amounts, candle emissions can harm the nervous
system, heart and circulatory system, particularly in children, the
and people with weakened immune systems, the ALA warns. In
can produce large amounts of soot, which may damage a
and the ventilation system.
- "Candles are fast becoming
one of the most common
unrecognized causes of poor indoor air
quality,'' notes Dianne Walsh Astry,
executive director of the Health
House Project, an ALA education program.
"Consumers should be
careful of the candle products they use, be aware
of product recalls,
and avoid potentially harmful candles with additives.''
- Before purchasing
candles, look to see if the core is
made of metal, Astry suggests.
Also, it is a good idea to keep candles
away from drafty places where
the wind can blow soot and toxins into the
air. And, Astry advises,
look for candles made without additives, such
as those made of bees