Health + Wellness

Is Your Scented Candle Poisoning You?

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A joint report from the Royal College of Physicians and the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health warns that the fumes from air fresheners, scented candles and cleaning products used in homes could be toxic.

Titled Every Breath We Take: the lifelong impact of air pollution, the report pointed out that while the damage caused by outdoor pollution such as exhaust fumes is well understood, many people are still ignorant of the risks from the harmful effects of air caused by Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) inside homes.

The joint study investigated the health hazards of household products that were previously thought to be harmless and discovered that the kitchen and bathroom products that we use on a daily basis contribute to poor indoor air quality that could prove harmful, with attention paid to the detrimental effects the toxic air levels could have on children, pregnant women and the elderly. Some examples as indicated by the report include adverse effects on the development of the foetus, miscarriage, increases in heart attacks and strokes for those in later life; and the associated links to asthma, diabetes, dementia, obesity and cancer for the wider population. The report went as far to indicate that “indoor air pollution may have caused or contributed to 99,000 deaths annually in Europe”.

Dr Andrew Goddard, of the Royal College of Physicians, said: “Taking action to tackle air pollution in the UK will reduce the pain and suffering for many people with long term chronic health conditions, not to mention lessening the long term demands on our National Health Service.”




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