Meghan Budden didn’t know what to think when she first discovered tiny black dots inside both her and her infant son’s noses.
While it didn’t take long for her to realize that the black specks were soot from a flame, she couldn’t figure out why soot would be inside her child’s nose.
A little research was all it took for Budden to find out that a candle she had been burning for several hours in her home was the culprit all along.
As it turns out, leaving a candle burning for longer than the recommended three hours can react with elements in the air that will begin to emit a cancer causing substance, according to CBS New York.
Budden had no idea that leaving her candles burning for six or seven hours at a time was harming her own son.
Alastair Lewis, a professor from the National Centre for Atmospheric Science at the University of York in the UK, “has confirmed that the ingredient that is commonly used to give candles their enjoyable aroma also is the chemical that changes into the dangerous gas formaldehyde when burned,” according to Your Nation News.
The Health Protection Agency also lists Formaldehyde as an official cancer causing substance, though that doesn’t mean you have to avoid burning candles altogether.
The best way to protect your children from these dangerous effects is to make sure you never allow a candle to burn for longer for three hours, or until it begins collecting black soot around the wick.