Do Candles Cause Indoor Air Pollution?

You thought there was a problem with your HVAC system ... but candles might actually be to blame!

Both scientific and anecdotal evidence is mounting that the flames of candles, whether aromatic or unscented, release black soot into interior environments. They also can load the air with deep respirable particles that some compare to the particulate hazards of second-hand tobacco smoke.

Candle burning and smokeless oil lamps can also leave a trail of ghost images and
mysterious soot tracks on carpets, walls, ceilings and furniture.

Candles can vary in their soot generation, as some can produce 100 times more soot than other varieties. A candle placed in an air draft can increase its soot production by a factor of 50.

Soot production from certain candles can be significant and may cause indoor levels of airborne soot to exceed concentrations allowed in outside air by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.


Based on an article by Caroline David, Five Seasons Comfort / Electro-Air Canada