There’s nothing more relaxing than lighting up your favorite vanilla-scented candle after a long, stressful day of school or work. Unfortunately, a new study has come out that says that candles, aerosols, plug-ins, gels and incense sticks can cause serious health problems.
Not so relaxed anymore, huh?
Researchers discovered that the extended, long-term use of these items can lead to tumors, lung damage and asthma. But of course the risks do not stop there – the chemicals in these products can even transform the structure of our DNA.
The study elaborated on the dangers associated with each scented item. If you enjoy burning incense in your home, the chemicals found in scents like frankincense can cause cancerous mutations of DNA. The chemicals get trapped in your lungs which sets off “dangerous inflammatory reactions.”
The study says that some types of incense, such as agarwood and sandalwood, are more toxic to our DNA than tobacco smoke. Yikes!
Air fresheners, on the other hand, are linked with asthma and can interfere with your hormones. Public Health England’s Center for Radiation, Chemical and Environmental Hazards discovered that air fresheners contain “considerable levels of formaldehyde” which can lead to nose and throat cancer.
It seems like anything in this day and age will kill you.
In 2013, the International Journal of Public Health found that pregnant women who used air fresheners were “significantly more likely to have babies that suffered from wheezing and lung and infections.” SC Johnson, the producer of Glade air fresheners, claims that their products are entirely safe.
SC Johnson “claims,” not “knows,” that their products are safe. It’s all about word choice, people.
What particularly horrifying about this study is that scientists discovered that the candle doesn’t even need to be lit for it to be a health hazard. The Daily Mail reports that “simple evaporation will enable [candles] to pollute your home. … Other studies show the chemicals are capable of being absorbed by the body simply through touching the candles.”
Once scented candles are lit, they can produce dangerous chemicals like formaldehyde and parraffin. Long-term exposure can raise your risk for respiratory issues and cancers.
Sorry, science – I’m attached to my vanilla scented candles. I’m not throwing them out just yet.