wellbeing news

Watering: Beware of Scented Candles, Essential Oils and Room Sprays – Central Hesse

So many dangers can be hidden in harmless bottles. Photo: RP casting

So many dangers can be hidden in harmless bottles. Photo: RP casting

GIESSEN – Winter is the season for connoisseurs. Oranges, cinnamon, vanilla or anise – it's the classic scent of a pleasant afternoon and evening at home. Bowls with essential oils or scented candles are placed for the benefit, and room sprays are sometimes used. However, they often contain ingredients – for example, limonene or citral that cause allergy – and are classified as hazardous chemicals, warns the Occupational Safety and Health Service at the Gie├čen Regional Council (RP).

"Fragrances are as much a part of the winter season as gingerbread, but they carry a risk, so there are a few things to keep in mind when buying and using them," says district president Dr. Ing. Christoph Ullrich. During inspection at the retail store, there are always fragrant oils which, due to the lack of detail of the sensitive ingredients, as well as the lack of danger labels, do not sufficiently indicate possible damage to health.

Basically, many fragrance and fragrance oils are questionable for humans and the environment. Although natural essential oils are derived from plants, they should often be classified as hazardous chemicals.

Respiratory tract

Some essential oils can irritate the skin and mucous membrane overdose or trigger allergies. In particular, children, asthmatics, or people with sensitive airways are particularly vulnerable and may respond to complaints such as shortness of breath, dizziness, or tears. Aromatic oils, fragrant liquids, as well as candles and room sprays must be sorted, packaged and labeled for certain ingredients in accordance with the provisions of chemical legislation. Manufacturers are therefore required to indicate on the label indications of sensitivity and other hazardous properties. For this purpose, appropriate hazard symbols and instructions are provided on small bottles, containers and packaging.

Although many scented lamps, sticks and candles contained only natural essential oils, they could be harmful to children and people with respiratory illnesses. Aroma oils can irritate the skin and mucous membranes and trigger allergies.

Therefore, RP recommends:

, Observe the instructions on the labels.

, Use scented lamps, scented candles and room sprays. Keep an eye on their dose.

, Always ventilate the room well after use, at least before going to bed.

, Avoid direct skin contact with liquid.

, Even if containers have a child closure, care should be taken to keep them out of reach of children.


For further information, also about other consumer goods, Arbeitsschutzdezernate RP is available at and the topic "Aroma oils".