We all know we should never leave a candle unattended, right? It’s an obvious fire hazard, and we’d never dream of leaving a room – much less our home! – without blowing any lit ones out first. But did you know there’s actually another danger hidden in those scented candles, and that it’s the reason they all come with a time-limit warning?
If you look more closely at the labels on these candles, you might see something like this: “Do not burn more than 3 hours at one time.” And this isn’t a suggestion, it’s a warning. When you let candles burn for too long, there’s more of a risk than just your candle wax being all burnt up; there are some negative health side effects that could come along with letting scented candles burn.
The best example of these side effects is Megan Bunton, a new mom from Hoboken who casually lit two large, scented candles and went about her day while at home with her was her newborn child.
When she went to feed the baby, Megan noticed that the inside of his nostrils were covered in a black substance. Even after swabbing and cleaning out his nose with saline, there were still remnants of the black substance. Panicked, she took her baby to the doctor.
The culprit? The candles she had left burning for six or seven hours in the apartment.
As it turns out, when these scented candles are burnt past their recommended amount of time, they produce soot which can contaminate the air. Dr. Lisa Liberatore, an Ear, Nose, and Throat specialist, says that this is a common yet harmful mistake.
“Patients come in all the time without putting those pieces together,” Dr. Liberatore said on the issue. “I’ll usually go through a checklist to see which aspects of their environment might be affecting them, and this time of year, it’s almost always because we’re burning candles.”
While it’s not necessary to keep all scented candles out of your home, it is crucial to pay better attention to the candles you buy. First of all, always purchase candles from a reputable source; cheaply made candles or candles with too much fragrance have more of a tendency to produce this dangerous soot.
Of course, no matter where you buy from, make sure to ALWAYS read the label and see how long the recommended burning time is. Another good trick is to keep the candle wick trimmed so it’s about an 1/8″ above the wax, and if you see soot rising from the candle, make sure to put it out immediately.
What do you think of these safety tips? Share your thought in the comments section below.