Indoor air quality experts at the Oregon Environmental Council say that the chemicals used in scented candles can cause indoor air pollution, potentially causing a wide range of respiratory health effects, including asthma. Companies are not required to disclose the specific chemicals used in scented candles on the labels, and many labels simply list “fragrance” as an ingredient, without revealing any specifics. Some contain “pthalates”, which are used in the production of plastic, and have also been found in bottled water. According to an EPA report on pthalates, these chemicals may cause birth defects and reproductive problems.
Many people will use scented candles or fragrance sprays to mask odors that linger indoors. But there are other alternatives to these chemical-laden, pollution causing solutions. Spring is in the air, and opening the windows of your home for even just a few minutes a day can improve air circulation, while letting in the natural scent of fresh flowers. Running the fan in your bathroom and turning on the fan inside the hood vent above your stove, during and after cooking will also help. It is important to clean and change your microwave and hood range filters on a regular basis, as these prevent the spread of odor-causing smoke and food particles. We also recommend changing your HVAC furnace filters regularly, and investing in a HEPA air purifier if you suffer from allergies or asthma. Most air purifiers remove odor-carrying particles naturally, without adding chemical-laden fragrance to your home.
If you’re not sensitive to fragrances, and you absolutely can’t do away with your craving for cinnamon or french vanilla, or if it’s too cold to open the window, supplement your air filter with a Fresh Scents Air Filter Freshener in “Fresh Flowers” and other scents. This fragrance gel pad attaches easily to any air filter, providing subtly scented air throughout your home, without the smoke given off by candlewicks.