The Effect of Candles and Scented Oils on Air Quality


Those scented candles that you love to burn could be causing more indoor air quality issues than you know. Essential oils aren’t much better. Doctors who study the effects of commercial chemicals on the human body suggest that these scented chemicals play a part in indoor air pollution. While they may not cause life threatening issues, they should be avoided as much as possible.

Sensitive individuals might already know that certain types of candles and scented oils cause issues. They may lead to difficulty breathing and irritations in the respiratory tract. The smoke from candles can even affect people in other rooms. Even the smallest amounts of smoke can cause someone to cough. Itchy, watery eyes can also result from smoke exposure.

Please consider the hidden dangers of those items that make your home smell good. You may want to think about your indoor air pollution the next time you utilize scented products.

Indoor Air Quality

Pros and Cons of Candles

People use candles for all sorts of reasons. They provide natural light in a romantic and relaxing environment. A candle-lit dinner at your own table can make you feel like you are sitting in an upscale restaurant in New York City. And the different scents please the noses of those who enjoy good smells. Candles truly create a unique atmosphere every time you light them.

Candles can also help you cut down on your electric bill. A small candle can give you just enough light to finish something at your desk or at the kitchen table. You wouldn’t need to turn on the lights and drain more power. Candles also provide emergency lights when the power goes out. You’ll need to see during a storm or other disaster, and candles will always be there when you need them.

But candles aren’t always good news. The smoke can stain the walls of the house if you’re not careful. The smoke can travel to other rooms and cause irritation to lungs. Coughing spells are also common when people inhale the smoke from candles. Some people find it very difficult to breathe after they have been exposed to the different types of candle smoke. The matches cause other types of chemicals to filter through the otherwise fresh air.

Essential Oils

Essential oils are believed to eliminate smoke and other impurities that candles emit. If you decide to make your home smell a certain way, then essential oils are better choices from an indoor air quality standpoint. And they won’t stain your walls. You only smell the vapors from the oils, and the harmful elements from the candles don’t appear to occur in essential oils.

But the chemicals used to create the scents still contribute to decreases in indoor air quality. You should refrain from using essential oils if you have sensitive individuals living in your home. And the residue from the oils isn’t good for anyone to breathe. That’s a somewhat debatable topic, but a good rule to follow is to avoid any kind of unnecessary exposure to chemicals. Everyone in your home will appreciate the extra effort to stay healthy.

There is limited research to suggest that essential oils are healthy for people to breathe in. And what’s worse is that there are no federal regulations on who can sell essential oils. Producers of essential oils insist that the purity of the oils is critical, and that oils produced for the perfume industry are heavily adulterated with filler ingredients. However, it’s the essential oils industry that has created the index for establishing purity, and their interest is somewhat less than objective in the matter. That means you have no idea what kinds of chemicals may be polluting the inside of your home. Indoor air quality can suffer greatly when you buy unknown chemicals.

Other Alternatives

If you want to avoid health hazards, then you may not know how to make your home smell better. One thing you can try is to have the carpets professionally cleaned. Carpets trap a ton of odors even if you’re careful to keep them clean. Find a company that uses environmentally friendly methods to clean your carpets. You might be surprised at the options available to you.

You can also try storing shoes in a specific location of your home. Old shoes should be thrown away since they trap so many odors. New shoes look great as well, and people will comment on them. You don’t have to use candles and oils that compromise the indoor air quality in your home. Good smells can come from a variety of sources. And your health will benefit from your new choices.

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