Up until a couple of decades ago, before electricity and electrical devices became the norm, the world used to be heavily reliant on candles to get through their dark nights. They’ve been around for a really long time and have existed for at least 5,000 years, going all the way back to Ancient Egypt. As much as we’ve benefitted from them over the years, studies have proven that candles sometimes create more problems for us than we realize. Here are five ways they can ruin your life.
1. They Can Burn Down Your Home
It’s a given that candles often lead to house fires. Between 2012 and 2016 alone, there were nearly 88,200 house fires in the United States and roughly 37% of these fires started in the bedroom. Another 11% of those fires started because someone fell asleep with the candle on. Tea light candles are the most dangerous of them all due to the flat metal base and the fact that people often place them on unprotected surfaces. Once lit, they can melt into surface materials and easily spread to the surrounding area.
2. They Can Spread Disease
Candles are a must-have during any celebration involving a cake. There’s also the shared tradition of making a wish, then blowing out the candles before finally sharing it among guests. However, many people seem to forget that it’s all too easy for a couple of stray drops of saliva to make their way to the cake. Gross, right? And it’s even more gross if the birthday boy or girl happens to have a cold or some other respiratory illness. Maybe it’s best to swap those candles for some fancy sparklers!
3. They Can Seriously Damage Your Health
The majority of cheap candles are made with a substance called paraffin which is derived from petroleum. When paraffin is burned, it releases a toxin known as toluene which is shown to cause serious damage to the DNA strand, affecting the nervous system. Candles also contain artificial dyes and fragrances which, when burned, release lots of soot particles that often contain zinc, lead and tin. Breathing in this toxic fume can aggravate pre-existing medical conditions such as asthma and other lung conditions.
4. They Are Made from GM Crops
As mentioned earlier, most candles contain paraffin which is especially dangerous when burned. Given the health risk surrounding it, many people suggest using soy as a healthy alternative and they are often marketed as vegan and cruelty-free. Unfortunately, over 90% of the 24 million tons of soybean produced every year is genetically modified and they are often treated with toxic pesticides. Even if a candle is made with pure soy, it will still require some paraffin wax to help it burn, making it hard to avoid this toxic substance altogether.
5. They Waste Your Money
Scented candles are one of the most popular and affordable gifts for Christmas, birthdays, housewarming – you name it. But it turns out that the recipients of said candles don’t care much for it. As a result, they often end up in the trash. A UK poll revealed that candles count for at least 57% of the 60 million unwanted gifts that are exchanged over the holidays every year, with 16% of people saying that it’s their least favorite gift. If this is you, then perhaps you should consider donating it to charity instead of throwing it away.
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