Are Scented Candles Bad For You? The Mystery Is Sorted!

“The scent plays a vital role in creating imaginations. You just end up landing into the world of fantasy and all good things.”

Scented candles are loved and adored by everyone and always welcomed. Why? Because they bring in good vibes. No doubt, candles with fragrance add more charm to the décor, help relax a person, and improve the mood. 

Still, some people are very concerned about having scented candles at home. 

The reasons could be many. For example, asthmatic patients are allergic to scents and can’t welcome such candles at home. 

So, are scented candles bad for you? Let’s get a wing to the detailed answer in this article. 

Are scented candles bad for you?

We all know that candles release a chemical in the air that can cause harm to health. Therefore, the smoke of burning candles can make you sick.

Additionally, the toxic ingredients in candles, like paraffin wax, benzene, and formaldehyde, have a different impact. 

So, are scented candles bad for health? The effect can be mild, but sometimes, when not proper care is taken, it can give rise to more adverse situations. 

According to World Health Organization (WHO), after 4 hours of consistent burning, the highest measured level was less than half as high as the suggested indoor air quality limits. 

The WHO report encourages the authors to conclude the study with the statement:

“Scented candles, when used under normal conditions, don’t pose any known health issues to the consumers.”

The link between candles and cancer

If you’re still curious to know the answer to “are scented candles bad for you?” Then stick to this section as we will shed light on one major health issue it can cause. Talking about cancer. Let’s learn the facts below:

Are scented candles bad for you

According to a study conducted in 2009, chemicals like benzene and toluene (present in candles) cause cancer. 

Another research shows that there can be a possible link between bladder cancer and candles burned in poorly ventilated areas. The surveys deduce that phthalates are those problematic chemicals in burning candles. 

Regardless of all these theories, some studies contradict the previously done analysis on candles, chemicals, and cancer.

How bad are scented candles for asthma and allergies?

Just like chemicals are assumed to affect cancerous cells, they can harm asthmatic patients and people who are prone to allergies. If you must know, fragrance is one major cause of allergies and severe asthma conditions. 

So, if you ask, are scented candles bad for health? Then, we will instantly nod our heads yes because, somehow, the effect can be dangerous. 

When scented candles are present in your home, the toxic ingredients in candles can make your condition worse and induce these symptoms in you:

  • Watery eyes 
  • Possibly skin rashes
  • Running nose
  • Stuffy nose
  • Sneezing
  • Tightness in your chest

Are scented candles dangerous for migraines or headaches?

Remember, be it a good scent or a bad odor, it is alarming for people suffering from headaches and migraines. 

According to a survey, 95% of people say that they are sensitive to smells and that the smell triggers their migraine or headache most often. 

Are scented candles bad for you

So, are scented candles bad for you? The answer is it all depends on the health condition you are occupied with. Hence, as discussed before, an intense headache results from sensitive and pungent smells.

Do you know?

This condition is called osmophobia, defined as aversion, fear, and hypersensitivity to odors.

Are Scented Candles Bad For You? – FAQs

  1. Is it bad to light scented candles in your room?

It won’t be wrong if we say that scented candles, due to the smoke and chemicals present in them, can have the most harmful impact on indoor air quality. Everything produces mass from wax to wick to scent and pollutes the places’ inner atmosphere. 

  1. Why shouldn’t you leave candles lit overnight?

Unattended candles can create a spark through things that can easily catch fire (like blinds) and, in return, can cause a loss of death or other harm. 

  1. Are scented candles bad for dogs?

Scented candles have the potential to harm both human beings and dogs as these lighting objects contain harmful chemicals that release smoke, which can affect dogs’ inhaling.

  1. Are scented candles worse than smoking?

Andrew Sledd, a specialized pediatrician in Environmental Toxicology, stated that 1 hour of burning a scented candle could be equivalent to the smoke of a cigarette. Moreover, candle soot can seriously threaten the human respiratory system.

  1. Why can’t you burn candles for more than 4 hours?

The toxic ingredients in candles can cause carbon to gather around the wick, leading a candle to mushroom. As a result, an unstable, large flame is produced. Not only this, but the candle will start to smoke and release soot. 

  1. Are scented candles bad for babies?

The use of fragrant products is entirely avoidable, especially inside your newborn’s nursery, as it can disturb their sleeping environment. Also, keep in mind that their lungs are still developing and such exposure to aerosol irritations is no use.

  1. Are scented candles reusable?

The straightforward answer is yes. To make this happen, melt down the remaining wax and pour it into a smaller votive. But be thoughtful about combining all the same types of waxes. Also, you can mix 2-3 different flavors for a unique touch.


Hopefully, you have gotten our point and will keep all these queries and answers in mind while decorating a place with scented candles. But, of course, the answer to the question, “are scented candles bad for you?” depends on the person. Because everyone has a different health history, the yes or no answer can’t be deduced.

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