Are scented candles carcinogenic?

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I heard that scented candles can cause cancer.
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  • Tori answered 5 years ago
As others have mentioned, if they are made from paraffin wax (a petroleum-based product) they release toxins similar to those found in car exhaust.

It is now easy to find candles that are made with vegetable waxes that are very clean burning and do not release carcinogens.

The wicks are also important. Lead core wicks were banned in the US, but some imported candles may still sneak through. Zinc core wicks are also commonly used, and they may not be completely safe either.

So if you use candles made in the USA from vegetable wax or beeswax and 100% cotton wicks they will not contain any known carcinogens.
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  • Chauncy Gardener answered 5 years ago
    In general toxic chemicals are potentially carcinogenic. You have to consider how close you are to the candle while it's burning, and as someone here said, how often do you burn them? Go with beeswax candles or natural candles from a health food store or herbal shop (you want oil based BTW) and they will tell you all about them (if they know their stuff).
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  • rmbrruffian answered 5 years ago
    Not only the wax to make the candles, but the wicks. Many candles have lead in their wicks to hold the shape while being dipped or poured. Burning lead is not healthy. Get candles that are soy based, have essential oils for scent rather than petroleum based scents, and have 100% cotton wicks. You can find these at health food stores.


    Horticulture student
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  • Smiley answered 5 years ago
    It's not so much the scented, but candles made out of paraffin. That's developed from crude, so you get some of those fumes when you burn these overly common candles.

    Going to beeswax solves this problem.
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  • yyyyzz (wise) answered 5 years ago
    Only if you burn hundreds per day for years on end. One every happy occasion, won't do any harm.
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