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ANI
Washington, August 20, 2009
A candle-lit dinner with your date may actually be harmful for the environment, and lead to cancer, suggests a new study. The research claims that burning candles made from paraffin wax could mean exposing yourself to indoor air pollution, including the known human carcinogens.

Levels of chemicals released by candles include harmful substances such as toluene and benzene, which are known to cause cancer.

The study, which has been presented at the 238th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS), suggests that levels can build up in closed rooms, but can be reduced through proper ventilation.

Amid Hamidi, Ph.D, who was part of the study, said: "An occasional paraffin candle and its emissions will not likely affect you.

"But lighting many paraffin candles every day for years or lighting them frequently in an un-ventilated bathroom around a tub, for example, may cause problems."

He added that in fact people having an indoor allergy or respiratory irritation could be reacting to air pollutants from burning candles.

However, experts Hamidi and R. Massoudi Ph.D., say that candles made from bee's wax or soy, though expensive, can be a safe option.

Bees’ wax apparently, does not release potentially harmful amounts of indoor air pollutants and retains all of the warmth, ambience and fragrance of paraffin candles, which are made from petroleum.