Can Candles Make You Dizzy? The Truth About Scented Candles

Have you ever felt dizzy or experienced respiratory issues after burning candles? While candles can create a cozy and relaxing atmosphere, they may also pose potential health risks. Burning candles can release harmful emissions into the air, increasing the risk of indoor air pollution. Soot from candles can cause respiratory issues such as asthma and may even lead to bladder cancer. Inhaling these emissions can trigger allergies and chemical sensitivity, making candle burning a safety concern for some individuals. The hydrocarbons released by burning candles are a major concern for health experts. Candles can be a danger if left unattended, potentially causing fires or other accidents.

It’s important to be aware of the potential safety danger and health risks associated with burning candles, especially with the type of fuel used, as it can contribute to air pollution. So let’s dive in!

Signs and Symptoms of Dizziness or Sickness Caused by Burning Candles

Burning candles is a common practice that many people enjoy for creating a cozy atmosphere, providing fragrance, and helping us relax. However, inhaling candle smoke can lead to health problems such as headaches, dizziness, allergies, and respiratory issues. Additionally, burning candles can contribute to air pollution and pose safety risks. People with chemical sensitivity should be particularly cautious when burning candles.

Chemicals in Candle Smoke

When you burn a candle, it releases smoke into the air that contains hydrocarbons and particles such as benzene and toluene. These chemicals are known to cause headaches, dizziness, allergies, and respiratory problems when inhaled for prolonged periods by people. Benzene is a carcinogen that can cause cancer with long-term exposure. Toluene is an irritant that can cause further harm to people’s respiratory system when inhaled.

Allergic Reactions

Candle smoke can also trigger allergic reactions in some people, as well as contribute to air pollution. If you have allergies or asthma, candle smoke may cause symptoms such as sneezing, coughing, watery eyes, and difficulty breathing due to the hydrocarbons released. The fragrance oils used in scented candles may also trigger allergic reactions and even increase the risk of bladder cancer.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Burning candles in an enclosed space without proper ventilation can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning, which can be deadly if inhaled in high concentrations. People should be aware that carbon monoxide is an odorless gas and manufacturers should emphasize the importance of proper ventilation to avoid the risk of bladder cancer. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include headache, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, confusion, and loss of consciousness.

Health Risks from Prolonged Exposure

Prolonged exposure to candle smoke can lead to respiratory problems such as bronchitis and asthma. It may also increase the risk of developing lung cancer over time due to the release of carcinogenic chemicals like benzene into the air.

How to Reduce Your Risk

To reduce your risk of experiencing health problems from burning candles:

  • Choose unscented candles or those made with natural fragrances like essential oils.
  • Burn candles in a well-ventilated area to reduce the amount of smoke in the air.
  • Avoid burning candles for long periods, especially in enclosed spaces.
  • Use an air purifier to filter out harmful chemicals from the air, especially if you frequently burn scented candles made by candle manufacturers.

Wick Toxicity: Understanding the Risks of Cored Candle Wicks

Candles are a popular way to create a relaxing atmosphere in your home. They come in various shapes, sizes, and scents, making them perfect for any occasion. However, have you ever wondered if candles can make you dizzy? The answer is yes; some candles can cause dizziness due to their wicks’ toxicity.

What is cored candle wick?

Cored candle wicks contain metal wires that provide structural support to the wick while burning. These wires are usually made of lead or zinc and are wrapped with cotton fibers. When burned, these metals can release toxic fumes into the air.

Lead poisoning risk

Lead poisoning is one of the most severe risks associated with burning candles with cored wicks. Lead is a toxic heavy metal that can cause serious health problems when ingested or inhaled over time. Exposure to lead has been linked to developmental delays in children and reproductive issues in adults.

The use of cored wicks in candles has been banned in some countries due to health concerns. In 2003, the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) banned the sale of candles containing lead-core wicks after discovering that they could emit dangerous levels of lead into the air.

Non-toxic alternatives

Choosing candles made with natural, non-toxic wicks can reduce the risk of exposure to harmful chemicals. Some examples include:

  • Cotton wicks: Candle manufacturers prefer cotton as a natural fiber for scented candles, as it burns cleanly without releasing toxic fumes.
  • Wood wicks: Candle manufacturers can use wood wicks, which are made from sustainable sources and produce a crackling sound when burned.
  • Hemp wicks: Hemp is another natural fiber that burns cleanly and slowly.

When buying candles, look for those labeled “lead-free” or “coreless.” Be wary of bargain-priced candles as they may contain cheap materials like zinc or tin instead of lead.

Other candle safety tips

Aside from choosing non-toxic candles, there are other safety tips you can follow to reduce your risk of exposure to harmful chemicals:

  • Burn candles in a well-ventilated area. Open windows or turn on a fan to circulate the air.
  • Trim the wick before burning. A long wick can cause the candle flame to flicker and produce more soot.
  • Don’t burn candles for more than four hours at a time. Excessive burning can cause the wax to overheat and release toxic fumes.
  • Use candle holders that are heat-resistant and stable. This will prevent the candle from tipping over and causing a fire.

Alternatives to Scented Candles: Choosing Safer Options

If you love the cozy ambiance and pleasant aroma of scented candles, you might want to reconsider using them. Scented candles can contain harmful chemicals that can cause dizziness, headaches, and other health problems. Fortunately, there are safer alternatives that you can use to create a relaxing atmosphere in your home.

The Dangers of Scented Candles

Scented candles are made with fragrance oils that release chemicals into the air when burned. Some of these chemicals include toluene, formaldehyde, and acetone, which can trigger chemical sensitivity and cause respiratory problems. These chemicals can also be harmful to pets and children who have weaker immune systems.

The fragrances used in scented candles are often synthetic and can contain phthalates, which are endocrine disruptors that interfere with hormone production. These chemicals can affect reproductive health and may increase the risk of certain cancers.

Safer Alternatives to Scented Candles

  1. Beeswax Candles – Beeswax candles are a natural alternative that produces a warm glow without any harmful chemicals or synthetic fragrances. They have a subtle honey scent and emit negative ions that help purify the air.
  2. Soy Candles – Soy candles are another safe option made from soy wax instead of paraffin wax found in traditional candles. Soy wax is biodegradable and non-toxic, making it an eco-friendly choice for candle lovers.
  3. Unscented Candles – If you still prefer the ambiance of traditional candles but don’t want any added fragrances or chemicals, unscented candles are an excellent choice. They provide a warm glow without any risks associated with synthetic fragrances.

Other Ways to Create Aromatherapy at Home

If you’re looking for ways to create a relaxing atmosphere at home without using scented candles, there are several options to consider.

  1. Essential Oil Diffusers – Essential oil diffusers use water and a few drops of essential oils to create a natural aroma that can help reduce stress and promote relaxation. You can choose from a variety of scents, including lavender, peppermint, and eucalyptus.
  2. Incense – Incense has been used for centuries to create a peaceful ambiance in homes and places of worship. It’s made from natural materials such as bamboo sticks and fragrant herbs like sage or sandalwood.
  3. Potpourri – Potpourri is a mixture of dried flowers, herbs, and spices that release natural fragrances when placed in a bowl or sachet. You can customize your potpourri blend with your favorite scents like rose petals or cinnamon sticks.

Tips for Safe Candle Burning: How to Reduce Health Risks

Candles have been used for centuries as a source of light and ambiance. They come in different shapes, sizes, colors, and scents that make them perfect for any occasion. However, burning candles can pose health risks if not done safely.

Keep Candles Away from Drafts and Flammable Objects

When lighting candles, it is crucial to keep them away from drafts and flammable objects such as curtains or papers. A draft can cause the flame to flicker or even blow out, which can lead to an uneven burn or create a fire hazard. Also, flammable objects can catch fire easily when exposed to the heat of the candle.

To prevent these hazards from happening, place your candles on a stable surface away from any drafts or flammable objects. Make sure that they are not near windows or doors that may cause a draft.

Trim the Wick to 1/4 Inch Before Lighting

Trimming the wick before lighting your candle is essential in ensuring safe burning. A long wick can produce a larger flame that burns faster than usual and produces more soot. Soot is harmful when inhaled as it contains toxic chemicals that may cause respiratory problems.

Before lighting your candle, trim the wick to 1/4 inch using scissors or a wick trimmer. This length ensures that the flame burns at an appropriate size and reduces soot production.

Burn Candles for No More Than 3-4 Hours at a Time

Burning candles for extended periods can lead to overheating of the container or holder which may cause cracking or even shattering. Prolonged exposure to candle smoke may cause headaches and dizziness due to carbon monoxide poisoning.

To avoid these risks, burn your candles for no more than 3-4 hours at a time. This duration allows the wax to melt evenly and prevents overheating of the container or holder. Also, it reduces exposure to candle smoke which may cause health problems.

Consider Using Beeswax or Soy Candles Instead of Paraffin Wax

Paraffin wax is commonly used in candles as it is inexpensive and readily available. However, it produces soot that contains harmful chemicals such as benzene and toluene that may cause respiratory problems when inhaled.

Consider using beeswax or soy candles instead of paraffin wax. Beeswax candles are natural and produce little to no soot when burned. Soy candles, on the other hand, are made from soybean oil which is renewable and eco-friendly.

Good for Your Health: Choosing Candles that Promote Wellness

Candles have been used for centuries as a source of light, heat, and ambiance. However, not all candles are created equal. Some candles can be harmful to your health due to the chemicals they release when burned.

Quality Candles Made with Essential Oils

Quality is key. High-quality candles made with essential oils provide numerous benefits for both the mind and body. Essential oils are natural plant extracts that have been used in aromatherapy for thousands of years. They contain therapeutic properties that can help reduce stress, anxiety, and promote relaxation.

Quality candles made with essential oils use a variety of scents to provide different benefits. For example:

  • Lavender oil promotes relaxation and calmness.
  • Eucalyptus oil helps clear sinuses and improve breathing.
  • Peppermint oil provides energy and focus.

When shopping for quality candles made with essential oils, look for products that contain 100% pure essential oils without any synthetic fragrances or dyes.

Natural Wax and Wicks

In addition to using high-quality essential oils, it’s important to choose candles made with natural wax and wicks. Many commercial candles are made from paraffin wax, which is derived from petroleum and can release harmful chemicals when burned. Instead, opt for candles made from natural waxes such as soy wax or beeswax.

Wicks are also an important consideration when choosing candles that promote wellness. Many commercial candle wicks contain lead or other metals that can release toxins when burned. Choose candles with cotton or wooden wicks instead.

Therapeutic Benefits

Studies have shown that certain types of candles can provide therapeutic benefits for both the mind and body. For example:

  • Aromatherapy candles can help reduce stress and anxiety.
  • Beeswax candles can help purify the air by releasing negative ions.
  • Soy wax candles can provide a longer burn time than traditional paraffin wax candles.

Wax melts are another option for those looking to promote wellness through candle use. Wax melts are small pieces of scented wax that are melted in a warmer to release fragrance into the air. They come in a variety of scents and can be used to create a calming atmosphere or energizing environment.

Reducing Health Risks

Choosing quality candles made with natural waxes, essential oils, and cotton or wooden wicks can also reduce the risk of inhaling harmful chemicals and smoke. When burned, some candles release toxins such as benzene and toluene, which have been linked to cancer. By choosing high-quality products made from natural ingredients, you can enjoy the benefits of candle use without putting your health at risk.

Well-Ventilated Areas: Why Proper Ventilation is Important when Burning Candles

Candles are often used to create a cozy and relaxing atmosphere in our homes. However, burning candles can also release harmful chemicals into the air, such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Breathing in high levels of VOCs can cause dizziness, headaches, and other health issues. That’s why it’s important to burn candles in well-ventilated areas.

What are VOCs?

VOCs are chemicals that can be released into the air when certain products are used or burned. They include a variety of chemicals, such as benzene, formaldehyde, and acetone. These chemicals can have both short-term and long-term effects on our health.

When candles are burned, they release soot and other particles into the air. If the room is poorly ventilated, these particles can build up over time and cause health problems. This is especially true if you burn scented candles or those made from paraffin wax.

The Importance of Proper Ventilation

Proper ventilation is crucial when burning candles. It helps to remove harmful VOCs from the air and reduce your risk of exposure to these chemicals. Here are some tips for ensuring proper ventilation:

  • Open windows: Opening windows allows fresh air to circulate throughout your home.
  • Use exhaust fans: Exhaust fans help to remove pollutants from your home by venting them outside.
  • Avoid using candles in small rooms: Small rooms don’t have enough space for pollutants to dissipate properly.
  • Don’t burn too many candles at once: Burning multiple candles at once increases the amount of pollutants released into the air.

How to Reduce Your Risk of Dizziness from Candle Fumes

If you’re prone to dizziness or headaches from candle fumes, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk:

  • Burn unscented candles: Scented candles release more VOCs than unscented ones. Opt for unscented candles to reduce your exposure to these chemicals.
  • Choose beeswax or soy candles: Beeswax and soy candles are made from natural materials and release fewer pollutants when burned.
  • Trim the wick: A long wick can cause a candle to burn too hot, releasing more pollutants into the air. Trim the wick to ¼ inch before lighting the candle.
  • Burn candles in well-ventilated areas: As mentioned earlier, burning candles in well-ventilated areas can help reduce your risk of exposure to harmful chemicals.

Making Informed Choices for Safer Candle Use

In conclusion, burning candles can make you dizzy or sick if not used properly. Signs and symptoms of candle-induced sickness include headaches, nausea, and respiratory problems. Cored candle wicks can release toxic chemicals that pose health risks. It is important to choose safer alternatives to scented candles such as beeswax or soy candles. Proper ventilation is crucial when burning candles in enclosed spaces. Choosing candles that promote wellness can also be beneficial to your health.

To ensure safe candle use, follow these tips: trim the wick before lighting, burn candles in well-ventilated areas, and avoid leaving them unattended. When purchasing candles, look for labels that indicate natural ingredients and non-toxic materials.

Remember that making informed choices for safer candle use is essential to protect your health and well-being.


Q: Can I still burn scented candles?

A: Yes, but it is important to choose non-toxic options such as beeswax or soy-based candles with natural fragrances.

Q: How do I know if a candle has a cored wick?

A: Look for labels that indicate the type of wick used in the candle or contact the manufacturer for more information.

Q: Is it safe to burn candles overnight?

A: No, it is not recommended to leave burning candles unattended at any time.

Q: What are some alternative ways to fragrance my home without using scented candles?

A: You can try using essential oil diffusers, simmering herbs and spices on the stove, or using natural air fresheners like citrus peels or baking soda.

Q: Are all-natural ingredient candles more expensive than regular ones?

A: Not necessarily. There are many affordable options available on the market today that use natural ingredients and non-toxic materials.