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Characterization of aromatic candle emissions and its similarity to diesel engine exhaust.

Krause JD; Poor ND; Harbison RD
Toxicologist 1999 Mar; 48(1-S):395
At least fifty documented incidences of csevere soot deposition in Florida residences, believed to be caused by aromatic candle emissions, have occured since 1996. Concerns of occupant exposures and potential health impacts were raised. Submicron particulate has been recognized as carcinogenic in health assessments of diesel emissions. The estimated clearance time for these insoluble carbon particles from the human respiratory system is up to 1 year, providing adequate time for desorption of adsorbed organic compounds. Aromatic candle emissions resemble those of diesel engine exhaust in particle size and organic compounds, while their use in confined spaces may constitute a significant occupant exposure. An assessment of the emissions from aromatic candle usage was performed using a 45 liter stainless steel chamber with high air exchange rates to reduce losses to chamber surfaces. Exhaust was collected for analysis of particulate matter and gaseous emissions. Particulate and gaseous phase emission rates were calculated. To determine the quantity, and identification, of adsorbed compounds GC/MS and GC/FJD analyses were performed. Initial characterization and quantification of particulate matter (PM) emissions revealed emission of particles ranging from 0.06 to 0.1 microm, determined by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), at rates up to 3.5 mg/min. Gas phase emissions contained compounds including benzene, 2-butanone, chloroform, carbon tetrachloride, xylenes, and other volatile and semivolatile compounds. This study determined that certain candles produce particulate and gaseous emissions similar to those of diesel engine exhaust, and when used indoors, can result in occupant exposures that may pose a significant risk.
Toxins; Toxicology; Toxic-materials; Dose-response; Carcinogens; Diesel-emissions; Diesel-exhausts; Respirable-dust; Respiratory-irritants; Respiratory-system-disorders; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Pulmonary-system; Pulmonary-disorders; Airborne-dusts; Airborne-particles; Particulate-dust; Particulates; Analytical-methods; Analytical-chemistry; Chemical-analysis
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Source Name
The Toxicologist. Society of Toxicology 38th Annual Meeting, March 14-18, 1999, New Orleans, Louisiana
Performing Organization
Sunshine Education Research Center, College of Public Health, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL 33612-3805
Page last reviewed: May 11, 2023
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division