The Health Effects of Yankee Candle

Written by lena freund
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The Health Effects of Yankee Candle
Many scented candles contain paraffin, a petroleum product that emits chemicals such as benzene when burnt. (Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images)

Public opinion on scented candles are mixed: some love scented candles for their relaxing properties and rich scents, while others worry about the chemicals in the candles and whether or not they release toxic chemicals when burnt. The Yankee Candle Company sells candles in a variety of seasonal and regular scents. The company also uses paraffin -- a form of petroleum -- in its candles. Thus, a number of positive and negative health effects potentially result from the use of these candles.

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Relaxation

Yankee Candle's scented candles are relaxing. Many women like to light them while in a bathtub or while reading a book at night. Late-night work on the laptop is made less stressful by turning off all of the lights and working by the light of a scented candle. Changing the Yankee Candle every season -- for example, using a citrus scent in the summer or a pumpkin scent in the fall -- increases enjoyment of that particular season as well.

Emissions

Faculty at South Carolina State University performed a study on candles created using paraffin -- an industrial component often used in candle wax -- and found that these candles emit chemicals such as benzene and toluene. Lighting a candle containing paraffin sometimes causes respiratory problems and aggravates asthma or allergies. Yankee Candle acknowledges that paraffin is a component of many scented candles on its "Product Knowledge" page and admits that its own candles do contain paraffin.

Smoke Inhalation

Once lit, the candle is eventually blown out. If the Yankee Candle is one of the larger sizes, the wick inside it is larger. The larger the wick, the longer it takes to fully burn out once extinguished. Though a candle smells nice while it is burning, the smell of the wick burning out is not as pleasant. Blowing out a candle and remaining close to that scent -- close enough to inhale it -- sometimes causes nausea, dizziness and headaches.

Other Yankee Candle Products

The Yankee Candle Company, though known mostly for scented candles, makes a small number of other products. Among these are antibacterial hand soaps, sanitisers and lip balms. Such products have positive health effects, such as reducing the spread of germs from person to person.

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