Scented Candles Can be Bad for You (And Toxic)!

Scented candles are a fabulous way to experience different kinds of fragrances. The feelings and experience they evoke are phenomenal. However, not all scented candles are safe to burn. Toxic scented candles? Really? Yes! Scented Candles can be toxic. Let us understand the risks as well as the myths:

How Scented Candles Can be Toxic

Despite the lovely fragrances and the feelings a scented candle evokes, there is a downside to burning exotic candles, i.e., toxicity. Here is how scented candles can be toxic:

Majority of the candle makers use paraffin to make candles. Paraffin is a byproduct of petroleum, a waste produce, and coal or shale oil. Paraffin wax contains volatile organic substances (VOCs) like benzene, toluene, petroleum distillates, limonene; alcohol, esters, formaldehyde, which when combusted release toxic fumes and tiny particles. Many of these substances are carcinogenic in nature. Prolonged exposure to them may lead to lung cancer or may trigger asthma in people with respiratory sensitivities. Even the soot and smoke emitted by paraffin based scented candles can be toxic, as it can get deposited in our lungs over a period of time. In fact, long-term exposure may lead to cardiovascular diseases as well.

Conventional scented candles contain toxic fragrances, such as phthalates. Phthalates have been linked to endocrine disruption and reproductive impairments in women. Moreover, paraffin wax is not biodegradable, which leads to releases of traces of heavy metals and lead. It is difficult for our bodies to detoxify these chemicals because we are exposed to so many of them every day.

Must Read: Home Fragrance Products & Scented Candles & Safe for Babies (Or Not)  

One reason many brands choose paraffin wax to produce their candles is because it is much cheaper than other safer alternatives. Paraffin also has the ability to hold stronger fragrances; hence, it is another reason why candle making companies opt for them.

Toxic, Cheaper Scented Candles are Bad for Your Home Too

These chemicals also pose a health risk when ingested, as they can mask real problems such as mold and mildew in the home. In fact, candles are responsible for a significant portion of indoor air pollution. Furthermore, the soot emitted by candles can settle in air ducts and choke them.

While cheap candles may not seem like a huge problem, their cheap make causes them to burn faster than high-end ones and impact your health in the long run.

Did Your Know: Are Candles Safe for cats or Toxic? Here is What I Learnt…

People Also Ask

Are Bath and Body Works candles toxic or safe?

Since BBW candles contain paraffin wax, a small risk of toxicity cannot be ruled out.

Here is What Bath and Body Works Itself Claims About its Own Safety

If you are wondering about the safety of Bath and Body Works candles, you need to understand what this very popular scented candle brand contains and what kind of safety instructions it chooses to share with its readers. Bath and Body Works (BBW) makes its candles from paraffin wax. In fact, most of these hugely popular candle brands, including Yankees and White Barn, use a blend of waxes to make scented candles, such as vegetable wax, paraffin wax, and soy wax.
Furthermore, BBW declares that its Signature Collection Candles are fashioned from vegetable wax candles. The inclusion of paraffin in candles is a fact that the website of these brands openly declare. It is known that the ingredients used in these candles contain several toxins, including phthalates, carcinogens, and volatile organic compounds, and may even contribute to allergies and irritation in people with health sensitivities.
However, it is likely to happen when these scented candles are lit in abundance and in excess and not in moderation. Another factor is the proximity in which a scented candle is lit. Lighting a candle in a closed space and making a deliberate attempt to inhale the smoke or soot are factors that are likely to lead to an involutory buildup of toxic chemicals in the body and allergic reactions, headaches, and eye irritation.
In a safety manual issued by Bath and Body Works candles, there are clear guidelines about the hazards of unsafe practices of scented candles, the risks, consequences and remedial measures to be taken in case of exposure to an irritation from a BBW scented candle’s fumes or ingredients.
All in all, the BBW’s safety manual (check the link give underneath) declares that its scented candles do pose a risk of toxicity for aquatic life. Therefore, if you have a fish aquarium, it is probably a very bad idea to burn your favorite Bath and Body Works’ scented candle in the same room. Moreover, the manual also specifies that you shouldn’t burn your favorite BBW scented candle beyond 8 Hours, which is a matter of common sense and a safety standard for all scented candles, paraffin or no paraffin, Bath and Body Works or any lesser known brands. Here is what BBW fans on Reddit commonly think about safety concerns related to Bath and Body Works candles.

Do Check: SAFETY DATA SHEET from Bath & Body Works Scented Candle Tree Farm


Certain scented candles can be toxic and dangerous for your health. This certainely doesn’t mean you have to give up on non your favourtie scented candles. There are non toxic scented which are completely safe for your health and your home. You need to explore the non toxic and safer options.

Top Scented Candles