Your child 1-3 years

Indoor air quality: avoid candles and other incense

Indoor air quality: avoid candles and other incense



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In an effort to maintain optimum air quality in your home, you may be used to using candles or incense. A reflex that is best avoided because they are harmful to the health of the youngest. The solution: aeration and a few simple actions.

  • Scented candles, incense, essential oils ... do you like to use these products at home? They are not safe for the health of your children and should be used sparingly, even if they are labeled "organic" or "natural".
  • "Many of these products emit volatile organic compounds that are irritating to the airways." The incense even emits benzene, a carcinogenic hydrocarbon involved in leukemias and lymphomas, and formaldehyde, an irritant gas considered a carcinogen.
  • More frequently, these substances can cause migraines and irritations or inflammation of the airways, "explains Dr. Bertrand Delaisi, pneumo-pediatrician at Robert Debré hospital in Paris." It's not about banning candles , simply to become aware of the possible risks and limit their use at home when you have children, "he continues.
  • Also be wary ofair purifiers, which are supposed to filter the particles in suspension (pollen, cigarette smoke ...) because these substances are numerous to be deposited on the soil and the furniture. They do not replace a daily aeration.

4 tips to improve your home's air quality

  • 1) The best solution for reducing the risk of indoor pollution is simple: aerate daily for at least 15 minutes. Living room, kitchen, bathroom and rooms for your children, all rooms that have a window, without exception.
  • 2) Do not block VMC vents or vents, they maintain a good level of hydrometry and thus limit the development of mites and molds that appreciate moisture.
  • 3) Watch out for the paintings. When repainting a room, arrange, if possible, to do it in the summer, to ventilate the room sufficiently. If you are pregnant, it is best to prepare your baby's room a few weeks before birth so that any harmful substances contained in these paints have time to evaporate. The ideal is to opt for paints without solvents or 100% natural. Another tip: mount the new furniture upstream because they usually contain formaldehyde.
  • 4) Treat yourself to indoor plants! Most have the property of cleaning up the air. How? They absorb the harmful particles during their breathing, transport them to their roots where they are destroyed by the microorganisms present in the soil. Their action is durable and fast, already measurable from the first days after their installation.

Stéphanie Letellier