Scented candles release as many harmful toxins as cigarettes

London, July 07 (ANI): Candlelight can add a hint of romance to a meal or make a bath relaxing - but it could also be bad for your health, according to a new study.

Researchers have shown some scented candles produce smoke laced with almost as many toxins as those produced by cigarettes.

Since they are often lit in poorly ventilated rooms, such as bathrooms, or during the evening when windows are likely to be closed, the release of chemicals can cause indoor pollution that is potent enough to raise the risk of asthma, eczema and skin complaints.

When U.S. researchers burnt a range of candles in a laboratory for a study published two years ago, the chemicals released in harmful amounts included human carcinogens and chemicals known to cause asthma attacks, such as toluene and benzene.

Dr Amid Hamidi of South Carolina University, who led the study, showed that paraffin-based candles produced "clear sharp peaks" for many chemicals, mainly because they do not reach high enough temperatures when being burned to destroy the hazardous molecules they emit.

"An occasional paraffin candle and its emissions will probably not affect you," the Daily Mail quoted him as saying.

"But lighting many of them every day for years, or lighting them frequently in an unventilated bathroom, for example, may cause problems," he added.

Research by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has shown that cored candles release the dirtiest soot - sometimes containing particles of zinc, tin, lead and the metal cadmium. (ANI)