When you get home after a long, stressful day, sometimes it's nice to light up a scented candle to help you relax. Yep, I'm a big burly dude who likes scented candles! They're great for generally creating a more relaxing atmosphere. Let's face it - candles just set the mood like nothing else. Nobody's going for a romantic "LED light" dinner, it's always candlelight.
Unfortunately, new research suggests that scented candles may not be all that great for you. According to Professor Alastair Lewis of the National Centre for Atmospheric Science at the University of York, one of the most commonly used ingredients in scented candles can potentially transform into poisonous formaldehyde gas when burned.
Limonene is one of the active biochemicals found in lemons and many other plants. It's used industrially to add a fresh aroma to various products. When left in its natural state, limonene is perfectly safe and can be added to cleaning products and even foods to add scent/flavor. Unfortunately, when limonene molecules are exposed to the ozone they undergo a reaction which mutates nearly half of them into deadly formaldehyde.
Due to modern homes being well-insulated, this formaldehyde can linger for a while and potentially cause long-term damage to you or your family.
According to the Health Protection Agency, formaldehyde is a known to cause cancer. It is advised that you make sure your room is well-ventilated in order to avoid these harmful negative side-effects of scented candles. Alternatively, you could just stop using them. Watch the video below to learn more about the hidden dangers of scented candles.
H/T: American Overlook