Worrying new study has revealed that chemicals found in scented candles increase the risk of developing cancer.
Professor Alastair Lewis of the National Centre for Atmospheric Science in York, England looked at the presence of volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) in six similar homes over 5 days.
Limonine was the chemical found in the highest levels. It’s a chemical used to give a citrus smell to scented candles, cleaning products and air fresheners.
The houses using the msot cleaning products had the highest levels of limonine, which is harmless by itself, but when it combines with ozone – in the air – it forms formaldehyde.
Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen.
The findings were broadcast on BBC2 show Trust Me I’m a Doctor, and Professor Lewis warned that houses should be adequately ventilated, especially during winter, to prevent the accumulation of unhealthy levels of formaldehyde in the air.
The researchers discovered the best way to reduce levels of formaldyde in the air was to place houseplants around the house which then absorbs the carcinogen.
According to scientists – geraniums, lavender and a series of ferns are the best at absorbing formaldehyde.