Fall and Winter home decor wouldn't be complete without scented candles. Trust us, we love them as much as the next person (we even tested all the best pumpkin spice candles!), but recently discovered information has us seriously considering tossing them all out. Woman's Day and The Daily Mail have published results from multiple studies that link scented candles to major health risks — as serious as lung damage and birth defects.
What's even worse is that candles aren't the only culprits; scented aerosols, gels, and plug-ins are among "an array of hazardous substances which may cause lung damage and tumors, interfere with our hormones, and cause such lifelong problems as asthma," The Daily Mail reports. The scariest part? You don't even have to light the candles to be affected because "simple evaporation" can release the pollutants into the air. Common ingredients in many products are chemicals that you probably can't pronounce and that your body definitely doesn't want; these chemicals can even change the structure of your DNA.
Expectant mothers might want to be especially cautious of the types of candles they bring into their homes. Some studies' evidence suggests that hazardous substances can affect hormones, and in turn, cause problems with babies' hormonal development. Popular brand SC Johnson, which makes Glade products, is just one company that has faced backlash for its reportedly harmful synthetic ingredients, but the company directly addresses this information on its site and assures it uses "the most comprehensive database worldwide of safety evaluations for fragrance materials."
Of course, no study or statement is all-encompassing, but this information is unsettling at the very least. Will you think twice about your favorite scented candles, or is this habit just not worth giving up?