Research has revealed that lemon candles can emit carcinogenic substances in environments where ozone is present
Research by Saleyha Ahsan, a doctor from the London Hospital's A&E department, has caused dismay, especially in those who often use scented candles. Indeed, it seems that they can release formaldehyde into the air. Formaldehyde is a volatile substance, which can also be released by solvents and paints, which is proven to be carcinogenic. But what does formaldehyde have to do with candles?
Scented candles are a welcome gift and a pleasant habit to use on many occasions. Generally, fresh and delicate perfumes are preferred, which allow to improve the scent of a room, to be used during a bath or in the presence of guests.
On the market there are many brands of scented candles, from cheap ones, to those that seem real works of art. The substances contained in the candles are many: especially essential oils that release their aroma with the heat of the flame and wax. Citrus, orange or lemon flavored candles contain limonene; it is a completely harmless essential oil, which can also be used in cosmetics and food.
From the research of Dr. Saleyha Ahsan it emerged that some companies that produce scented candles insert very high quantities of limonene into the wax, sometimes even in excessive doses, which cause a very strong perfume of the objects, even without needing to light them.
The same research has shown that limonene, if released into the air by the candle, can combine with ozone, degrading into formaldehyde. Ozone is an element commonly present in the air, in higher doses especially in cities with heavy traffic or very polluted.
The more the presence of limonene in candles and ozone in the air increases, the greater the risk of releasing formaldehyde. In addition to candles, environmental perfumers, insecticides and anti-dust products are also charged.
To limit the risk it is good to avoid products that give off a very strong lemon scent or that have limonene among the ingredients!