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Show: October 4, 2009:

Produced by WFYI Public Media in Association with Indiana University School of Medicine

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Did You Know?: Candle Pollution

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Air date: October 4, 2009

Host: Jeremy Shere, PhD

Did You know?
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Wishard Health Services

Did you Know? is presented by Wishard Health Services, becoming Eskenazi Health in 2014.

Did you know that fragrant wax candles are a source of indoor pollution?

It may be romantic to fill your bedroom or bathroom with paraffin wax candles wafting vanilla, cinnamon, lavender and other scents.

But according to a recent study, paraffin candles leak pollutants in your house. That's because they're made from petroleum. And when burned, petroleum gives off toxic fumes, including carcinogens.

Now, lighting a scented paraffin wax candle every now and again won't hurt you. But burning dozens every day or night can do harm -- from sparking allergies to causing more serious illness.

The researchers suggest that candles made from beeswax or soy are a healthier alternative.

But if you're partial to paraffin when it comes to setting a romantic mood -- be sure to crack a window. Proper ventilation can help cut down on candles' polluting fumes.

And now you know.

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