Uncovering the Shocking Truth: Can Candles Cause Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?

Candles can cause carbon monoxide poisoning. It is important to use them in a well-ventilated area.

Candles have been used for various purposes over the years, including aromatherapy, decoration and religious observances. They are also a popular choice for power outages and during romantic dinners. However, candles can pose a potential hazard if they are not used correctly.

Burning candles may produce carbon monoxide, which is a colourless, odourless and deadly gas. This gas can quickly build up in poorly ventilated areas, causing carbon monoxide poisoning. The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include headaches, nausea, dizziness, weakness, chest pain and confusion. In severe cases, it can lead to unconsciousness and even death. Therefore, it is essential to use candles in a well-ventilated area, and avoid using them for long periods or leaving them unattended.

Uncovering the Shocking Truth: Can Candles Cause Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?

Credit: goop.com

Understanding Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Candles are used everywhere for various purposes such as for decorative, religious, and aromatic purposes. While candles do add a nice ambiance, there is a fear of carbon monoxide poisoning. In this blog post, we will explore carbon monoxide poisoning in detail and see if candles can cause it.

What Is Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?

Carbon monoxide poisoning is caused by inhaling carbon monoxide gas, which is toxic. This gas is produced when fuels such as gas, wood, charcoal, kerosene, and oil are burned, including candles. Carbon monoxide is usually released immediately in the air, but it can be dangerous if the area is not properly ventilated, leading to poisoning.

Some common symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are headache, confusion, nausea, lethargy, and chest pain. In severe cases, it can cause seizures, coma, and even death.

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How Does Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Occur?

Carbon monoxide is dangerous because it binds to hemoglobin in the blood, reducing the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood. Inhaling carbon monoxide can lead to oxygen deprivation and suffocation. Carbon monoxide can build up in enclosed spaces, which is why it is crucial to ensure that there is proper ventilation.

What Are The Common Sources Of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?

Carbon monoxide can be present at home, cautions should always be made to assure that safety measures are implemented. Here are some common sources of carbon monoxide poisoning:

  • Gas stoves and ovens
  • Water heaters
  • Furnaces and boilers
  • Generators
  • Charcoal grills
  • Wood-burning stoves and fireplaces
  • Automobiles and trucks
  • Smoking tobacco and vaping
  • Candles

Candles use wax that is heated by the wick and releases fragrant oils into the air, which gives a pleasant atmosphere to the surroundings. However, candles are a common source of carbon monoxide as they release fumes that are toxic in nature.

Scented candles and candles used in closed rooms can cause carbon monoxide poisoning when burnt excessively.

It is crucial to ensure that the candles are used in well-ventilated areas and that they are not left burning for extended periods. Better alternatives to scented candles are beeswax or soy candles as they are eco-friendly and clean-burning.

Carbon monoxide poisoning is a significant safety concern, and it is important to be aware of the dangers of candles since they are commonly used in households. Proper ventilation and minimizing the use of candles in enclosed spaces can significantly reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

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Can Candles Emit Carbon Monoxide?

Many people love the aroma of scented candles and the warmth of candlelight, but it is essential to understand the potential risks associated with burning them. One of the most common concerns is whether candles can emit carbon monoxide (co).

How Do Candles Work And How Are They Made?

Candles are made by melting wax and pouring it into a mold, where it cools and solidifies around a wick. When the wick is lit, it heats the surrounding wax until it melts and vaporizes. The vaporized wax then reacts with oxygen in the air and burns, producing heat, light and soot.

What Are The Risks Associated With Burning Candles?

While the gentle flicker and soft scent of candles can enhance a relaxing environment and create a pleasant atmosphere, there are potential dangers associated with burning them. Some of these risks include:

  • Overheating or fire hazard if they are placed too close to combustible materials.
  • Smoke and soot, which can damage walls and ceilings.
  • Indoor air pollution, which can include particles, volatile organic compounds (vocs), and carbon dioxide (co2).

What Are The Factors That Can Cause Carbon Monoxide Poisoning From Candles?

Carbon monoxide (co) is a colorless, odorless, and potentially deadly gas that can be generated by various sources, including burning candles. However, it does not mean that all burning candles emit carbon monoxide.

Candles made from petroleum-based products, such as paraffin wax, are more likely to produce co. This is because they are made from fossil fuels that contain hydrocarbons which can release toxic gases when burned. Additionally, the incomplete combustion of candle wax due to a lack of oxygen can also produce co.

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To prevent carbon monoxide poisoning from candles, it is recommended to:

  • Use candles made from natural materials, such as beeswax, soy wax, or coconut wax.
  • Make sure the room is well ventilated when burning candles.
  • Never leave candles burning unattended.
  • If you experience symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, or nausea while burning candles, extinguish them immediately and seek fresh air.

While candles can contribute to a warm and inviting atmosphere, it is essential to be aware of the potential risks associated with burning them, including carbon monoxide poisoning. By following safety guidelines and choosing natural, non-toxic candles, you can enjoy their benefits without putting yourself or your loved ones at risk.


After researching extensively on whether candles can cause carbon monoxide poisoning, it is clear that while it is possible, the risk is extremely low. Proper ventilation and regular maintenance of candles, including trimming their wicks and ensuring they burn for no more than 4 hours, can significantly reduce the likelihood of carbon monoxide poisoning.

It is also important to use candles made with high-quality ingredients and to never leave them unattended. It is important to note that other sources of carbon monoxide, such as cars and faulty heating systems, present a far greater risk than candles.

While it is important to be aware of the potential risks, candles can be enjoyed safely with proper usage. As with any household item, it is essential to use caution and common sense to ensure a safe and comfortable environment for all.


I am a mechanical engineer and love doing research on different home and outdoor heating options. When I am not working, I love spending time with my family and friends. I also enjoy blogging about my findings and helping others to find the best heating options for their needs.