Nov. 18, 1999
A warning about a common decoration you probably have in your home right now. And, how it can seriously harm your health.
A study shows certain kinds of scented candles can give off highly toxic emissions and make the air in your home more dangerous than the outside air.
News Specialist Stacey Butler has the story.
Wayne Davis/American Lung Association: "Christmas holiday coming up-- a lot of people are going to be burning candles indoors and some candles can pose a health hazard."
A study conducted at the University of Michigan shows scented and low burning candles can produce lead and mercury and if inhaled, can be harmful.
Wayne Davis: "We have candles that have a lead core wick, and that lead can emit some toxic chemicals along with mercury and other base cores."
Like benzene-a cancer causing agent and acetone- a common ingredient in paint thinner known to cause asthma.
Lead wicks are more common than you think. Almost every candle on these shelves has one hidden inside the string. They help the candle burn longer.
Many scented candles with a lead wick claim to clear the air. One ventilation expert says they do anything but.
Bill Thompson/Thompson and Sons Heating: "We have had a few situations where the candles have set off carbon monoxide detectors."
The American Lung Association says some candles release lead particles that float through the air and land on furniture where they may be ingested by pets.
In many cases you can see the soot--the black stuff rising from the candle. And according to the study it can harm the central nervous system, cardiovasular and blood systems. Those most at risk? Children and those with a weakened immune system.
"Candles are being made differently than they were in the past and I think people are thinking they're all being made the same out of beeswax. But they're not."
To minimize candle pollution in your home: