The Advent Candles: Coziness with dangerous pollutants and increased risk of infection
Candles release pollutants
The nitrogen concentration in the ambient air rises with every lit candle
Indoor air quality on an Advent afternoon: Quick check
Candles and fireplaces pollute the ambient air with lots of fine dust and increase the risk of infection
Fine dust also has other effects. Scientists assume that a high proportion of fine dust in the room air promotes the transmission of microorganisms such as viruses and bacteria. Microorganisms use the fine dust particles as a vehicle to move through the air. With the coronavirus bearing in mind, a cozy living room decorated with Christmas decorations can become a place of high risk of infection.
Tips for a cozy Advent season with high quality air
Our quick check shows how dangerous Christmas decorations during Advent can become. Bearing this in mind, the concentrations mentioned only occur if the room remains closed and is not ventilated at all. Below are a few tips to ensure a good airflow during the Christmas season.
Ensure adequate ventilation
Use beeswax candlesWhen burning, beeswax produces significantly fewer pollutants than wax made from paraffin or stearin. The beeswax comes from the honeycomb of honey bees and is ideal for candles. Beeswax candles are more expensive than paraffin candles and so became less common then the cheaper version out of lower quality materials. However, it is worth buying beeswax candles because they burn longer and are less harmful to our health.
LED lights instead of candles
Avoid draughtsIf a candle catches wind, the flame will dance particularly beautifully, but that has its consequences. A turbulent candle flame soots particularly heavily and thus emits significantly more fine dust particles than under windless conditions.
Shorten the wickA long wick can also cause a candle to soot a lot. Therefore, the wick should be trimmed as much as possible before each lighting.
Do not use scented candles
Purifying the ambient airAs we have learned, burning candles produces a large amount of particles. This can be removed from the air with a professional air purifier that contains appropriate HEPA filters***.
Candles are part of the Advent season, but should be carefully considered
Sources: Andersen, Omelekhina, Rasmussen, Bennekov, Skov, Køcks, Wang, Strandberg, Mattsson, Bilde, Glasius, Pagels, Wierzbicka: “Emissions of soot, PAHs, ultrafine particles, NOx, and other health relevant compounds from stressed burning of candles in indoor air” in Indoor Air, Volume 31, Issue 6, 2.033-2.048. CC BY 4.0, Farhangrazi, Sancini, Hunter, Moghimi: “Airborne Particulate Matter and SARS-CoV-2 Partnership: Virus Hitchhiking, Stabilization and Immune Cell Targeting - A Hypothesis” in Frontiers in Immunology, 2020. Correctiv, Lunge Zürich, SWR Marktcheck