There are few things we love more than striking a match to light a brand new scented candle. But a new study suggests we might need to be a bit more discerning about what exactly we're burning. According to the study, "Most scented candles are made with paraffin.The oil by-product gives off ultra-fine soot particles containing acetone, benzene, and toluene, usually seen in diesel emissions, and known carcinogens." It's the chemicals being released during burning that are believed to be harmful.
But before you go ahead and toss all of those candles you've been collecting, take a beat: there are some candles that are significantly safer to burn. Soy candles contain much less harmful paraffin, making them safer to burn. Even better, beeswax varieties are actually thought to incur positive health benefits (reduction of allergies and asthma, for example) by releasing negative ions into the air.
Are you surprised by the study? Share your thoughts in the comments.