Carbon Monoxide Poisoning by Candle Email Warning
Email warns that burning candles in an air-conditioned room can lead to death from carbon monoxide poisoning(Full commentary below.
Never light candles in air-cond. room
For those who sleep in air-conditioned rooms... A friend of mine
has passed away recently, please read the mail below and be
Heard of a bad news regarding Charlene, who studied in MSMKL with
some of us. She passed away last weekend due to carbon monoxide
poisoning. It happened when she lit an aromatheraputic candle for
the night in a room with air-conditioning on and all windows
closed. Due to lack of oxygen in the room, the burning of the
candle cannot fully oxidize & thus forming dangerous carbon
monoxide. Carbon monoxide will prevent oxygen exchange in the
lungs, resulting the person dozing off to state of unconsciousness
& eventual lay death in less than 1 hour, depending on the room
size. I am sending this e-mail out to all of you so that you will
be aware of such danger when lighting aromatheraputic candles in
any unventilated rooms.
Please forward this email to all your love ones.
This warning email claims that a person named "Charlene" died of carbon monoxide poisoning as a result of burning candles in an air-conditioned room. Unfortunately, like most emails of this nature, it does not provide any checkable details. At this point, I have not been able to establish if "Charlene" died in the manner described or even verify if she is a real person. The place mentioned in the email, MSMKL, is a college in Kuala Lumpur.
It should be noted that candles do
produce carbon monoxide and
that significant exposure to carbon monoxide can cause serious
illness or death. Any device that burns fuel can produce carbon
monoxide. Indeed, many people die every year as a result of
carbon monoxide poisoning. However, as yet, I have not come
across any reports of people dying from CM poisoning purely
a result of burning candles. Perhaps, if a room was very tightly
sealed then it might be possible for a person to be overcome by
carbon monoxide produced by candles, especially if there were a
number of candles burning together. Certainly, such a room could
be potentially unsafe, not only from the risk of carbon monoxide
poisoning but also from the risk of fire. Also, there are possible health risks
associated with exposure to soot produced by
The underlying message in the email is valid. It is unwise to
use candles or any other device that burns combustible fuel in
a poorly ventilated room. It would be especially foolish to
leave candles burning while you slept.
Write-up by Brett M.Christensen