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Candles pose health hazard, experts warn

Scented candles are used in roughly 70 percent of U.S. households, bring in more than $3 billion dollars annually, and make our homes smell great. They’re also a fire hazard, and the soot they produce when burned is potentially extremely toxic. Dr. Sujatha Ramamurthy of Fort Myers warns that the toxins “created by the candle can also be irritating to the lungs and can cause bronchial constriction or asthma attacks…” Burning candles in for too long and/or in the wrong places can lead to what’s called “soot sickness”. The toxins created by burned candles can irritate the lungs and have the potential to cause “bronchial constriction or asthma attacks”. While the scented candle industry is booming, it’s still relatively new. Because of this, there just aren’t any “definitive studies to determine the long-term effect of candles.” Experts recommend that you burn scented candles for no more than 3 hours at a time, and “should be extinguished if you see dark dust around the rim.”

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