A New Jersey mother learned of the dangers of burning scented candles for too long when she reportedly discovered soot in her baby's nose.
Meghan Budden was taking care of her infant son in her apartment when she swabbed her nose and discovered black specks, according to Little Things. She then reportedly noticed the same black dots in her baby's nose.
Budden realized the specks were pieces of soot from two scented candles that she had lit the previous night. She had reportedly let the candles burn for about six hours, although the packaging warned that they should burn for no longer than three hours at a time. The candles had burned for so long that they began to produce soot, a dangerous substance when inhaled.
"Breathing the tiny particles can cause coronary heart disease, asthma, bronchitis, and many other respiratory illnesses," a blog posted on the website of the environmental health consulting firm Cashins & Associates warned, according to Little Things.
" ... Particle exposure leads to around 20,000 premature deaths in America each year. Many of these deaths were caused by soot-related diseases. Data also show that soot annually causes almost 300,000 asthma attacks and 2 million lost workdays due to respiratory problems."
Health experts recommend that people who use scented candles trim the wick regularly and allow the candles to burn for only a few hours at a time.
The Little Things article was posted to the news organization's Facebook page on June 30 and has received over 400 likes and 700 shares in less than a day.
Several Facebook users responding to the post shared similar experiences.
"I have done the same thing," one poster wrote. "It's just me here and I had no idea this could happen. Read my candle warnings and they too said the same thing. Learn something new every day!"
"I had the same thing happen to my daughter," another user commented. "From that day on, soy candles only!!"
Other commenters suggested using beeswax candles or essential oils in a diffuser as an alternative to soot-producing candles.
The post has since been taken down.