Candles have bee around for almost as long as man has been on this earth.  They were the very first form of man-made light and were used almost exclusively for many years as the main source of light for houses and buildings. The use of a burning wick and combustible fluid or fuel have improved over the years but the basic candle technology is alive and well in 2010.

Today candles are sold on-line, in candle shops, specialty shops and in most large retail stores. They are scented and many of them come in hand crafted jars with all types of accessories. They provide a nice accent to any room and the scented candles can even be therapeutic. However, they generate a lot of airborne particulate that can be health concern.

Most candles use a standard cotton/wax wick. As the wax burns you have the release of the scented wax used in the candle making process and unburned hydrocarbons or candle soot. You may not notice the carbon soot coming off of the burning candle, but if you hold a piece of clear glass about three inches above the flame  you will eventually see the deposition of carbon or soot on the underside of the glass. This soot is light and easily becomes airborne.

You may notice the candle soot when  you change out the furnace filter in your HVAC system. Ever wonder why the filter was black and not grey? Did you think this was just some really dark dirt? Think again. Much of the dark material on the filter is soot from the candles. The soot becomes airborne, is picked up in the return air grills in your home and then deposited on the filter media.

The unfortunate reality is that much of the carbon soot is extremely small and what you actually see is only about 40% of the soot. The other 60% is too small to see with the naked eye. Some of this sub-micron soot will pass through the furnace filter and end up being deposited on your walls, furniture, floors, etc. It can also be inhaled into your lungs.

Over time this can become a health issue especially if you have severe allergies or respiratory issues. For small children with developing lungs, keeping candles out of their rooms is a good idea. If you use multiple candles the amount of soot is increased. And, candles that are scented are made with special additives to the wax to create the scent. Some of these chemicals are released during the burning of the candle and may create some additional health issues.

Pure Air Systems has been making HEPA and Carbon based air filtration systems since 1985. HEPA filters are capable of removing all of the soot particles produced by the candles. The systems incorporated carbon as well as the HEPA filters and the carbon will remove the gaseous molecules produced from the scented candles. These systems easily attach to the return air side of your heating cooling system.

For more information on the complete line of air filter and filtration systems offered by PAS as well as more information on particulate removal, please go to our website at:

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About the Author: Don Musilli

My name is Don Musilli. I started Pure Air Systems in 1985 and then sold it in 2006. I continue to consult for PAS and write their blog and control their Twitter account. I also, on occasion, make changes to the website. The company is now almost 26 years old and has been a major player in offering commercial grade, high performance HEPA and Carbon based filtration systems for the commercial, institutional, industrial and residential markets.

I currently reside in Englewood, Florida where I write blogs and do social media marketing for a number of clients.

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