Paraffin Candle use linked to cancer risk

Candle-lit dinners may be romantic, but researchers are warning they could be harmful to health.

South Carolina State University experts analysed the fumes released by burning candles in lab tests.  They found paraffin wax candles gave off harmful fumes linked to lung cancer and asthma – but admitted it would take many years’ use to risk health.

Paraffin-based candles produced “clear sharp peaks” for many chemicals, mainly because burning candles does not produce high enough temperatures to combust hazardous molecules such as toluene and benzene.

The scientists suggested switching to candles made from beeswax or soy, which did not release significant levels of the chemicals.

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