Monday, February 20, 2006
7 News Features: Candle Caution
Its something you'd never think of - - scented candles causing more danger than delight. But we're not talking about the fire hazard we all know about. This is a hazard to your health and your home. 7's Christine Cruz has more in tonight's special assignment report - Candle Caution.
WSVN--Laureen Picarello: "It's all over our walls, its all over our upholstery, its all over the kids toys its everywhere."
Laureen Picarello didn't know what "it was". There was no fire in her house yet she had black soot all over her walls and carpet -- in fact there was nearly 10,000 dollars worth of damage to her home.
Laureen Picarello: "Initially we thought it was shadows."
Experts say those "shadows" were actually soot from scented candles - - next to impossible to get rid without professional cleaners.
Jeff May: "It's a big problem yet very few people know about it."
Christine Cruz: "Many scented candles are made by adding oil to wax. The more oil the stronger the scent, but more oil also means more soot. The risk is even higher in newer homes because they are built so air tight soot has no where to go."
Jeff May: "One candle is a enough to to trash a house."
The national candle association says, "If you have a properly formulated candle, the amount of soot will be miniscule."
Author Jeff May disagrees. He says the problem is some candles aren't formulated properly.
Jeff May: "It's the same kind of thing you might get lets say from a diesel exhaust."
But it's not just your home that's at risk - - it's also your health.
American Lung Association: "You burn one candle just one candle for an hour your going to raise the level of toxicity in that room a great deal."
And that has mother of three Laureen even more concerned.
Laureen Picarello: "If it's on our walls its obviously in our lungs."
American Lung Association: "If you have a respiratory problem like disease or asthma your going to labor with your breathing, if your a child thats even worse."
To prevent sooting, keep candles away from any draft, keep the wick trimmed to one quarter of an inch, and stay away from jar candles.
They can give off more soot.
For Laureen - - its lights out when it comes to candles in her home.
Laureen Picarello: "They won't be burned in this house and i wont be giving them as gifts anymore."