Uh oh. Turns out some of the chemicals released by scented candles and air fresheners might not be a calming as we thought and may actually damage our health.
Here’s the science part: burning candles and air fresheners release a chemical called limonene into the air. Initially, this bunch of syllables is not harmful. However, once it mixes with indoor air, things become mighty worrying, the Daily Mail reports. These chemicals and the circulating indoor air have the potential to brew up formaldehyde, a dangerous substance that is strongly linked to nose and throat cancer. Researchers at the National Centre for Atmospheric Science at the University of York conducted tests in six different modern homes to ascertain the reaction and level of chemicals in the air.
If you’re freaking out though, calm down. Or read the following few sentences and then calm down. Make sure your home is well-ventilated. Open a window every now and then and make sure the air doesn’t become stale, a breeding ground for the scary process described above. And invest in a few houseplants. The researchers placed some greenery in four of the six houses and while there was still the same amount of limonene in the air, the levels of formaldehyde forming dropped significantly. Apparently English Ivy, geraniums, lavender and ferns are the best at keeping the f word at bay.
Via The Daily Mail