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The Smelly Truth About Candles

Burning candles is a nearly effortless way to shift the mood and awaken the senses through scent and sight. Although they might help you stick to your rituals, the truth is that candles could be harming your health. Many conventional candles (much like conventional beauty products) contain toxins. A report from the Environmental Protection Agency referenced research that measured traces of lead and formaldehyde above cancer-causing thresholds, among other chemicals that are harmful to health, particularly in people who have preexisting respiratory conditions like asthma.

That's the bad news. The good news is that there's plenty you can do to ensure that your indoor air pollution levels stay low. Choose fragrance-free candles made from bee, palm or soy wax. Traditional paraffin-wax candles are made from petroleum by-products.

Here's a checklist of what to look for when shopping for new candles, plus a few recommendations of clean-burning candle brands. For more information:


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