New Jersey mom Megan Budden didn’t think she did anything wrong when she lit a candle in her Hoboken home before going about her daily chores.
“I didn’t think anything by it,” she told CBS News. “I had them burning for maybe probably six or seven hours.”
Then the next morning she noticed black specks in her nostrils, but again didn’t think much of it.
READ: 9 dangerous baby products to avoid and what to use instead
It wasn’t until she picked up her baby to feed him and saw that the baby too had black specks in his nose did it occur to her that something had gone wrong.
Photo credit: CBS News
Even after she cleaned the nose with saline, a few dark spots remained.
Finally it dawned on her what had happened: she picked up the candle, and read on its label that it shouldn’t burn for more than three hours. Her candle had produced soot and lingered in the air of her home.
READ: 2-year-old’s death highlights danger of swallowing small objects
According to Cashins & Associates, Inc., inhalation of small particles such as soot causes cardiovascular disease, asthma, bronchitis, and other respiratory diseases.
In the Unites States alone, 20,000 people die prematurely each year in the United States from being exposed to soot particles.
Additionally, soot causes respiratory problems behind approximately 300,000 asthma attacks and 2 million lost work days each year.
Candle safety at home
Many candles produce soot, but there are ways that experts say can significantly reduce it.
One of which is keeping the wick trimmed an 8th of an inch above the wax. Also, don’t light a candle in a drafty area to avoid the flames from being interrupted. Most importantly if you see soot, put the candle out immediately.
The national candle association also said on its website that candles containing too much fragrance, or fragrances not approved for candles can burn unsafely. Make sure then to buy from a reputable candle maker.
If you have any insights, questions or comments regarding the topic, please share them in our Comment box below. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Google+ to stay up-to-date on the latest from theAsianparent.com Philippines!