Health & Fitness

Warning to anyone with mild asthma over two surprising household hazards that could kill

BURNING candles and fumes from cooking could be putting people with mild asthma at risk, a study shows.

Asthmatics aged 18 to 25 were more likely to suffer side effects if rooms were not well ventilated when people lit candles or cooked, Danish researchers found.


Burning candles and fumes from cooking could be putting people with mild asthma at risk, according to a study[/caption]

Dr Karin Rosenkilde Laursen, of Aarhus University, said breathing in “indoor air pollution” can make young people with asthma seriously ill.

She said: “Our study shows that fumes from cooking and burning candles can lead to adverse health effects such as irritation and inflammation in individuals with mild asthma. 

“Among other things, we’ve found indications of DNA damage and signs of inflammation in the blood.

“Even very young individuals with mild asthma can experience discomfort and adverse effects if the room is not adequately ventilated during cooking or when burning candles. 

“Young people are generally fitter and more resilient than older and middle-aged individuals. 

“Therefore, it is concerning that we observed a significant impact from the particles on this particularly young age group.”

Around 5.4million Brist have asthma, according to Asthma and Lung UK.

The condition affects people of all ages but often starts in childhood and can make breathing difficult.

It is caused by swelling of the breathing tubes that carry air in and out of the lungs as a reaction to triggers, including allergens and pollution.

Symptoms include breathlessness, wheezing, a tight chest and coughing.

In some cases, a trigger can cause severe asthma attacks that are deadly.

The study, published in Particle and Fibre Toxicology, looked at how much indoor air pollutants impact the condition.

Some 36 asthmatic 18- to 25-year-olds were exposed to emissions from cooking, emissions from burning candles and clean air in a lab.

Each time, the participants were exposed for five hours under highly controlled conditions. 

During the exposures, researchers measured particles and gases, and participants reported symptoms related to irritation and general well-being. 

Breathing in cooking fumes and candles caused irritation in the participants.

Dr Laursen said: “Even though the study focused on young asthmatics, its findings are interesting and relevant for all of us. 

“Winter is approaching, a time when we tend to light many candles and perhaps are less likely to open doors and windows while cooking. 

“By prioritising a healthier indoor climate, even when we’re cosying up indoors, we may be able to help reduce the incidence of serious lung and cardiovascular diseases, as well as cancer.”

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Source of data and images: thesun

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