WHAT SHOULD I KNOW ABOUT USING CANDLES SAFELY?

Candles are safe when burned properly, responsibly, and in accordance with manufacturer directions. However, it’s important to remember that a burning candle is an open flame, and becomes a potential fire hazard if not monitored carefully.

When burning candles, consumers should follow these basic safety rules.

ARE SCENTED CANDLES SAFE?

Consumers can be confident that a well-made and properly burned candle, whether scented or unscented, will burn cleanly and safely. Although there are no known health hazards associated with the use of scented candles, unfounded concerns about the safety of man-made fragrances vs. “natural” fragrance materials and essential oils continue to populate the media. The fragrances approved for candle usage – whether synthesized or “natural” – do not release toxic chemicals.

ARE SCENTED CANDLES TRIGGERS FOR ASTHMA OR ALLERGIES?

Although millions of Americans regularly use scented candles without any negative effects, it is always possible that a particular fragrance might trigger a negative reaction in sensitive individuals. Individuals with known sensitivities to specific fragrances may want to avoid candles of those scents. In addition, consumers should remember to burn all candles, whether scented or unscented, in a well-ventilated area.

SHOULD I BE CONCERNED ABOUT LEAD WICKS IN CANDLES?

No. Lead wicks have been officially banned in the United States since 2003, and before then they were primarily limited to inexpensive imported candles. NCA members voluntarily agreed to not use lead wicks in 1974, and long supported the elimination of lead wick use.

DO SCENTED CANDLES PRODUCE MORE SOOT THAN UNSCENTED CANDLES?

The oils found in certain fragrances may slightly increase the small amount of soot produced by a candle, but wick length and flame disturbance are the primary factors that impact sooting in a properly-formulated candle. When burning candles, consumers should follow these basic safety rules.

ARE UNSCENTED CANDLES SAFER THAN SCENTED CANDLES?

There are no known health hazards associated with scented candles. Scented or unscented, you can rest assured that any well-made and properly burned candle will burn cleanly and safely.

IS CANDLE SOOT HARMFUL?

No. The minuscule amount of soot produced by a candle is the natural byproduct of incomplete combustion. Candle soot is composed primarily of elemental carbon particles, and is similar to the soot given off by kitchen toasters and cooking oils. These everyday household sources of soot are not considered a health concern, and are chemically different from the soot formed by the burning of diesel fuel, coal, gasoline, etc. The production of candle soot can also be minimized in the following ways: Trim the wick to ¼ inch before every use to promote proper flame height, place the candle away from drafty areas to avoid flame flickering, and ensure that the wax pool is free of debris.