Is Your Scented Candle Habit Bad For The Environment?

It may be time to switch up your self care ritual

scented candle bath

by Phoebe Parke |
Updated on

Search the hashtag #selfcare on Instagram and you’ll find over 11 million posts featuring carefully styled pictures of beauty products, inspirational quotes aplenty and a whole load of bubble baths with scented candles flickering in the background.

While scented candles might be an essential relaxation tool for some, a new Clean Air Strategy launched by the government this week has identified them as a problem.

Wood burning stoves, bonfires, household cleaning products, polluting fuels, carpets and glues are also being targeted in the new measures, designed to reduce deaths from breathing toxic air – a number which currently stands at around 36,000 a year.

While manufacturers will be encouraged to reduce emissions from products such as scented candles, and introduce a labelling scheme to warn consumers about the harmful effects of the worst offending products, individual households will be advised to cut down on frequent van deliveries and bonfires.

Environment Secretary Michael Gove, who wants to reduce particulate emissions by 30 per cent by 2020, says the evidence is clear.

'While air quality has improved significantly in recent years, air pollution continues to shorten lives, harm our children and reduce quality of life.

‘Air pollution may conjure images of traffic jams and exhaust fumes, transport is only one part of the story and the new strategy sets out the important role all of us – across all sectors of work and society – can play in reducing emissions and cleaning up our air to protect our health.'

Mintel data shows that 81% of people in the UK use air care products such as scented candles, and those made of paraffin release chemicals and carcinogens which can negatively impact health, especially among asthma sufferers. Experts interviewed by Get The Gloss suggest swapping a paraffin candle for a natural wax version made of beeswax or soy, with a short wick made of cotton.

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