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Incense and scent candles face ban

Aromas can hide toxic products that pollute the home, says ministers of environment and housing

CERTAIN scented candles and incense could be banned from French homes under government plans.

The Ministry of Ecology, Health and Housing says that certain products should be banned from sale because their aroma hides toxic fumes and because they are often sold as objects that purify air.

A study in 2009 found half of respondents used such products, 9% of them doing so at least once a day.

Incense was criticised in a health study by the National Institute of the Industrial Environment and Risk (Ineris) as producing more emissions than candles.

It said that even using it on a monthly basis presented carcinogenic risks and the possibility of chronic illness.

Incense products give off particles of benzene and formaldehyde, candles also emit acrolein.

Benzene is classed as carcinogenic by the European Union, while formaldehyde can irritate the nose and respiratory pathways. It has also been linked to the development of cancer. Acrolein is toxic and a strong irritant.

The ministry is drawing up a black list of products that will be banned within months.

Photo: Flickr/Dov Harrington

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