Can Burning Candles Emit Carbon Monoxide?

Lighting candles can add charm to your surroundings. And if they are scented, the aroma can make the ambiance soothing and relaxing and help uplift your mood. But did you know that candles can emit toxins?

If you are burning paraffin wax candles, your indoor air might be getting polluted with toxic chemicals like phthalates, toluene, benzene, etc. If accumulated in the indoor air, these chemicals can induce several health issues. Some also state that burning candles can generate carbon monoxide, another harmful gas. So let's learn the truth.

Do Burning Candles Produce Carbon Monoxide?

Yes, candles do produce carbon monoxide and Carbon dioxide when lit. Carbon Monoxide is often labeled as a "silent killer". This is because almost 50,000 people every year visit the ER due to accidental carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. Carbon monoxide is a colour-less, order-less, and tasteless gas, thus making it difficult to detect.

Whether you are using a scented candle or an unscented one, they produce the same level of CO gas. Candles made of paraffin may emit a higher level of CO gas. However, candles made with soy wax or coconut wax are believed to emit a lesser amount of CO gas.

Can it Cause Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?

Though candles produce a small amount of CO when lit, they might also be a risk factor for Carbon monoxide poisoning. If you are lighting too many candles at once or back-to-back, the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning increases manifold.

The excessive CO in the air enters your system while you breathe and builds up in your bloodstream. As a result, the oxygen in your bloodstream gets depleted and replaced with CO. Consequently, your organs fail to receive an adequate amount of oxygen for proper functioning, leading to several health issues.

Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning:

The commonly observed symptoms of Carbon Monoxide poisoning are:

  • Dull headache
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Confusion
  • Blurred vision
  • Loss of consciousness

Severe CO poisoning can also become fatal.

How Can You Prevent Carbon Monoxide Mishaps?

1. Install a Carbon Monoxide Detector

The best way to prevent the threat of Carbon monoxide poisoning is to take the help of technology and install a carbon monoxide detector in your home. If you are someone who frequently lights candles in the room, buying a carbon monoxide detector is a worthwhile investment. You can get them online or buy them from a local store.

When the detector begins to alert you by ringing an alarm, it's time to take quick action. Open the windows, put off the candle, and step out for some time. The CO gas will gradually dissipate, and your indoor environment will be back to normal.

2. Never sleep with a Candles Burning

Burning a candle can help you calm and relax. Lighting a scented candle when retiring to bed at night might seem soothing, but remember, it can be dangerous. Firstly, you would not realize that the candle has been burning for too long, and the air inside your room might be heavy with Carbon monoxide. Also, if a fire outbreak occurs, you might get severely injured before you realize it.

3. Keep the Airways Open

Lighting a candle in a poorly ventilated room can increase the risk of Carbon monoxide poisoning. So, whenever you light a candle, make sure to keep the windows and the doors open. This will ensure the free flow of air in the room and allow the CO gas to dissipate. Also, never leave a burning candle unattended to avoid mishaps.

4. Keep Children and Pets Away

Children and pets have a low threshold to withstand Carbon monoxide. As a result, they may fall sick due to carbon monoxide. It can even be fatal. Also, they may knock over the candle and cause a fire accident. Thus, keep your kids and pets away from the room where a candle is burning.

The Bottom Line

A single candle can only generate a trace amount of carbon monoxide. But, when you burn multiple candles at one time, the amount of CO produced increases. When you get exposed to this gas for a long time, you might develop Carbon Monoxide poisoning. We hope this article has helped you understand the precautions you can take to prevent Carbon Monoxide poisoning and other mishaps.

All of Scandiscents candles are made with soy wax and are fully tested to ensure they are safe for your home.