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Can Scented Candles Trigger Asthma

Look Beyond The Obvious

Scented Candle Dangers Medical Course

There are some well-known and obvious triggers you should avoid when you have asthma cold air, dust mites, pollen, tobacco smoke, mold, and pet dander among them. But what about your favorite candle, thunderstorms, aspirin, or even traffic? Several odd or unusual things can trigger an asthma attack. If you have asthma, its important to identify your own particular triggers so you can try to avoid or at least be better prepared for a potential attack.

Mrs Meyers Clean Day Scented Soy Aromatherapy Candle

$8 for 4.9-ounce candle

From the natural, eco-friendly, household cleaning brand comes a candle with, what the company claims to have, a 35-hour burn time. Its made from soy and vegetable wax. Decide whether you want apple cider, basil, geranium, honeysuckle, lavender, lemon verbena, or mum scent to fill your space. The wicks are lead-free, and the jar is recyclable or reusable.

Surprising Allergy Facts For The Holidays

Some of our favorite winter things can also trigger reactions. Allergic Living gives the allergy facts on what to watch out for.

1. Scented Candles

The thought of cinnamon or vanilla wafting through the house may be appealing, but scented candles smell of big trouble for those with allergies or chemical sensitivities.

People who have environmental allergies such as to pollen or pets develop very sensitive inflamed nasal tissue which is hyper-reactive, explains allergist Dr. Antony Ham Pong. These tissues then react more strongly to scents, and act as if they are allergens and mimic an allergic reaction.

Plus, consider whether soy-allergic guests will be visiting before you light up that soy wax candle. While most are made from hydrogenated oil, which wont cause an inhalant reaction, your soy-allergic guest or her child may feel uncomfortable knowing that a soy product is wafting through the air.

Advice: Use unscented, beeswax candles or opt instead for trendy fairy light strings for table decor or wreaths.

2. Festive Spores

If you have environmental allergies, a pine or cedar dominating the living room can bring you to sneezes and tears . Allergists warn at this time of year about Rudolph the Reindeer Syndrome, literally a reaction to the Christmas tree.

Mold is the biggest issue some studies suggest household mold counts can increase as much as 10 times with a cut tree in the home. But an artificial tree can also harbor mold if it was stored in a damp basement.

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Asthma Triggers That Affect The Air You Breathe At Home And Work

Many potential asthma triggers can be found inside your home and at work, but with the proper measures they can be controlled. An asthma trigger is a substance, environmental factor or physical condition that causes asthma symptoms. Many people with asthma can have more than one trigger and asthma triggers can vary from person to person. Some triggers that can be found in the air that you breathe include dust, pet dander, strong odors and chemicals, and smoke, including from cigarettes and fireplaces or even candles. Below are a few tips to help avoid or reduce exposure to triggers that affect your asthma:

Not only can the triggers described above affect the air you breathe but pests and mold can also impact your asthma. Pests such as cockroaches, rodents, and mold can be found in your home or workplace. To prevent these pest and mold triggers from impacting your asthma, remember to regularly remove garbage and store outside. Instead of using harsh chemicals to remove mold, use mild soap, hot water and a strong brush. Additionally, fix any leaks that might be a source of moisture and make sure that bathrooms are properly ventilated with an exhaust fan. More detailed information can be found at the links above.

Candle Smoke Can Cause Asthma And Bronchitis

The Asthma Society Calls On People With Asthma To Be ...


You might have listened about damage to lungs due to cigarette smoke but the scientists of a Netherlands university has established a fact that candle smoke damages and destroys cells in the alveoli and other parts of respiratory system giving rise to diseases like Asthma and Bronchitis.According to scientists the number of free particles in the air increases from 600 to 1000 micrograms due to normal candles and odoured. scented candles.These particles enter the lungs and damage the cells.So we should try to sit minimum where there is candle smoke.

Also Check: Can Cold Weather Affect Asthma

How To Protect Yourself

Asthma attacks hospitalise someone every 8 minutes 185 people are admitted to hospital because of asthma attacks every day in the UK, and yet many of these cases could be prevented with an asthma management plan.

For example, if people notice a link between certain fragrances and a flare-up in their asthma symptoms, it’s best to avoid these triggers altogether. In everyday life, this can be more difficult, so it’s important to take regular preventer medication, as prescribed by your doctor.

“This reduces and soothes the inflammation in people’s airways, meaning they are less likely to react to asthma triggers and will reduce their risk of having an asthma attack,” Munde explains.

Debbi Wood, 58, was diagnosed with occupational asthma 28 years ago and finds that as well as taking her inhalers daily, avoiding fragrances is crucial to avoiding an attack.

“I know my triggers – mainly perfume, smoke, changes in the weather and chlorine. I can avoid some of them – for instance, I don’t walk past strong-smelling cosmetics shops or wear hand cream because the scents set off my coughing. If I go swimming, I can tell by the smell in the changing rooms whether there’s too much chlorine in the water. If there is, I dont go swimming. I have to be flexible.”

What Are Asthma Triggers

Asthma triggers are things in your environment that cause worsening of asthma symptomsor asthma attacks. Triggers can be anywhere, and avoiding triggers that are under your control will help you be better prepared to deal with triggers that are more difficult to avoid like pollen, smog and viruses.

Triggers often bring on asthma attacks. It is important to avoid your triggers in order to keep airway inflammation to a minimum and reduce your asthma symptoms. Your personal triggers can be very different from those of another person with asthma. Knowing what your triggers are is an important part of managing your asthma.

Taking steps to ensure your asthma is properly managed is the key to living a symptom-free life. Speak with your healthcare provider about taking a controller medication, creating an Asthma Action Planand proper inhaler technique. Since some asthma triggers are impossible to avoid, its important to always carry your reliever medication with you just in case of a trigger causing an asthma attack.

Also Check: How To Get Rid Of Asthma Without Inhaler

How To Avoid Scents Outside Of Your Home

  • Use scent-free products when available.
  • Keep your workspace or office well ventilated.
  • Keep detergents and soaps in sealed containers or a cupboard with a door that completely closes. Make sure the room where they are stored is well ventilated.
  • Ask if you can post a “Scent-free building” sign at your work, school and place of worship.
  • If scent-free policies are not in place, work with your school, workplace, place of worship, or gym to adopt a scent-free or scent-reduced policy.

How Can I Avoid Asthma Triggers At Home

Why you need to get rid of scented candles

The air in your house could contain irritants like tobacco or wood smoke, perfumes, aerosol sprays, cleaning products, and fumes from paint or cooking gas. All of these can trigger asthma flare-ups. Even scented candles are triggers for some people with asthma.

Air pollution, outdoor mold, and pollen are common triggers that can travel inside, especially if you leave your windows and doors open in warmer weather.

To improve your air quality at home:

  • If you smoke, quit. If someone else in your household smokes, ask them to quit or at least do it outside.
  • Avoid wood fires in the fireplace or woodstove.
  • Ask your family to switch to unscented or nonaerosol versions of household cleaning products. Avoid scented candles or room fresheners.
  • Run the air conditioning, especially on days when the pollen or mold count is high outdoors or when there are ozone or pollution warnings.
  • If you need to open windows and doors on days when the pollen count is high, do so after midmorning. Pollen counts are usually highest between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m. Find out if pollen counts are high by checking your weather forecast.
  • If you need to open windows and doors on days when ozone is a problem, do so in the early morning before pollution has had a chance to build up. Local weather forecasts or air quality apps often give details on outdoor air quality.

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Lulu Candles Luxury Scented Soy Candle

$15 for 16-ounce candle

Hand poured in the USA, these eco-friendly, soy wax candles come in basic clear tumblers, and last a long time, thanks to the slow-burning wickthat is 100 percent cotton. There are over 24 scents to choose from, so youre bound to find one you like, or gift one to a friend.

Lowering The Holiday Scent Trigger Point

Overall, Dr. Nicolacakis says, avoidance is key. But there are a number of other ways that you can protect yourself from potential asthma attacks in the flood of holiday scents.

  • Avoid live trees. The dust and pollen clinging to individual evergreen needles are the culprits in sparking an asthma attack. Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunologyresearch revealed 70% of molds found on live trees can set off asthma, fatigue and sinus congestion. And, once inside the home, the mold count can spike fivefold within two weeks. The reaction to trees is very individual, Dr. Nicolacakis says. There are also chemicals released when the wood is cut, and there are oils on the tree.
  • Avoid scented candles. Burning scented candles can release chemicals into the air, including toluene and benzene . The main issue is that scented candles dont burn hot enough to destroy the dangerous molecules they spit out, and theyre often lit in unventilated areas. That combination raises the risk of an asthma attack, Dr. Nicolacakis says.
  • Try an artificial tree. To avoid the live-tree scent, opt for an artificial tree. But, be sure it isnt coated in spray-on snow, pine-scented sprays or oils. Spray-on snow includes a slew of chemicals, such as acetone and methylene chloride, that can bring on an asthma attack or other allergic reaction.
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    How Can I Handle Mold

    Molds are microscopic living things that are kind of like plants. They can grow on many surfaces and do especially well in damp places like bathrooms and basements. Molds reproduce by sending spores into the air. When people with asthma breathe these in, it can trigger breathing problems.

    The key to controlling mold in your home is keeping things as dry as possible:

    • Ask your family to make sure that your bathrooms and basement are well ventilated.
    • If you have any damp closets, clean them well. Leave a 100-watt bulb on all the time to increase the temperature and dry out the air.
    • Run a dehumidifier in the basement or other damp areas. Empty and clean the water pan often.
    • Get rid of wallpaper and wall-to-wall carpeting in bathrooms and basement rooms.
    • Run the air conditioner .
    • Get rid of houseplants. They may have mold in the soil.
    • Clean any mold or mildew you can see with a solution that is 1 part chlorine bleach to 10 parts water.
    • Replace or wash moldy shower curtains.

    What Do We Mean By Scents

    Expert reveals how pollution INSIDE your home can cause ...

    When we talk about scents, we mean fragrances, aromas or perfumes anything that adds a smell to something else.

    Scents can usually be found in personal-care products, such as perfumes, aftershaves, colognes, shampoos and conditioners, soaps, body lotions and deodorants.

    Scents are also found in household items, such as air fresheners, deodorizers, candles, some laundry detergents, fabric softeners and cleaning products.Scents can also be found in the workplace .

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    “These tiny particles can be inhaled much more deeply into peoples lungs and irritate their airways, which can lead to potentially fatal asthma attacks,” Sonia said.

    “People with asthma who usually find their asthma is triggered by pollen or pollution should take particular care during thunderstorms, staying indoors with the windows closed where possible.”

    What Ingredients Are In Scents

    Scents are usually made from a mixture of natural and man-made chemicals. A typical fragrance can contain between 100 to 350 ingredients. The problem with scented products is not so much the smell itself as the chemicals that produce the smell.

    Scented products can contain several toxic chemicals that constantly turn into vapor in the air and attach themselves to hair, clothing, and surroundings. One commonly used chemical is diethyl phthalate, which is used to make scents last longer. It can cause allergic skin reactions and is classified as a skin sensitizer and a reproductive toxin, according to HAZ-Map: Occupational Exposure of Hazardous Substances of the National Library of Medicine of the United States.2

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    Secondhand Smoke And Multi

    Secondhand smoke can be harmful to anyone, but especially people with asthma, and can travel through windows in any home. For those that live in multi-unit housing, such as an apartment, duplex or condo, secondhand smoke from someone elses indoor smoking can trigger asthma symptoms. It can migrate from other units and common areas and travel through doorways, cracks in walls, electrical lines, plumbing, and ventilation systems. By advocating on behalf of all tenants, buildings can go smokefree and save landlords time, energy and money in the long-run.

    Scented Candles Allergies And More

    The Health Dangers of Scented Candles and Air Fresheners and What I Use Instead!

    While the Covid-19 pandemic has opened up lots of outdoor activities and created new outdoor dining, shopping, and workout options, many states across the country have already opened back up indoor dining, gyms, and other entertainment .

    And as work from home continues and the colder months are not too far behind, you may be spending even more time indoors. So what can you do to get the musk out of stale indoor air?

    Candles are a common go-to product to help freshen up the scent of a room. The issue is, many scented candles can be tough on the airways for some individuals. Most scented candles are made from paraffin wax, explains Payel Gupta, MD, FACAAI, triple board-certified in allergy and immunology, internal medicine and pediatrics, associate clinical professor Mount Sinai Hospital and SUNY Downstate Medical Center, in New York City, and co-founder and chief medical officer at Get Cleared, an allergy relief company. When burned, paraffin wax can release toxic, volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, into the air, including acetone, benzene, and toluene, which are known carcinogens.

    Individuals may experience headaches, difficulty breathing, wheezing, a tight feeling in the chest, worsening asthma symptoms, runny or stuffy nose, and sneezing, says Dr. Gupta. If you experience any of these allergy triggers, you should stop using that candle.

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    Scents Chemicals And Other Sources Of Indoor Air Pollution

    Scents, both good and bad, can affect your indoor air quality. Any kind of scent could trigger asthma symptoms. These can include scented candles, potpourri, perfumes, wax warmers, and cleaning supplies.

    Some other items in your home can release gasses called VOCs. This is called offgassing. VOCs can be 2 to 5 times higher indoors than outdoors.1 VOCs can have some short-term effects, but experts arent sure yet of long-term effects.

    • New furniture

    Other sources of indoor air pollution include:

    • Fuel-burning heat sources
    • Smoke from cooking, candles, fireplaces, or tobacco
    • Attached garages that store cars, motorcycles, or lawnmowers
    • Radon

    Look for this mark to find products proven more suitable for people with asthma and allergies. Find CERTIFIED asthma & allergy friendly® products on our certification program website.

    Are Candles Bad For You

    Are your favorite candles bad for you? Scented candles are a great way to add to the ambiance and aesthetic of your home. However, the candles you are burning might be doing damage to your health. Lets take a look at what the science says.

    Are candles bad for you? Candles are not bad for you if you are using candles in a normal way in a well-ventilated area, they are unlikely to affect your health. However, some candles can release particulates that include toxins and carcinogens. These can impact those with breathing disorders such as asthma and other respiratory disorders.

    The European Candle Association conducted a study in 2007 that examined over 300 toxic chemicals that can potentially be released by candles and found that the levels were below what could be harmful to humans. However, they can be harmful to your pets. Find out more about that in our article titled Are Candles Bad For Pets.

    These toxins and carcinogens are linked to the burning of paraffin wax. You can avoid them buy only buying and burning candles made of beeswax and plant-based waxes such as soy, palm, and coconut wax.

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    How To Burn Candles Safely

    • If you can, opt for beeswax or soy-based candles, which have a relatively clean bill of health.
    • Non-scented candle produce less soot and air particles, so choose them for their ambiance.
    • Look for hard wax avoid soft, gel wax which is often used because of its ability to hold colour and fragrance well, but is made from petroleum oil turned to a jelly.
    • Thin, braided wicks that seem to curl when they are lit are ideal avoid thick wicks.
    • Tapered candles tend to be the best for your lungs.
    • With multi-wick candles, check that they burn evenly
    • Make sure the room is well-ventilated but not with a draft. Candles in a draft can produce up to 50 per cent more soot.
    • Make sure the candle has a low, even flame when it is burning.

    More alarming were the findings from a study by Dutch scientists, who measured the air particles in churches that burned candles for up to nine hours at a time.

    They found ten times as many damaging free radicals molecules that can cause cancer in the air inside the churches as they did in the air beside a motorway.

    It is known that soot particles can penetrate the deepest parts of the lung and, as such, have the potential to aggravate respiratory illness.

    Professor Hamidi says that some people who believe they have an allergy or irritation that causes wheezing may be reacting to the pollutants from candles they are burning at home.


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