Whether you love them or hate them, scented candles have become just another part of the holiday season. People place them all over the house hoping to add to the merry ambiance.

They give them to friends and family as gifts, and they're also a contributing factor to the structural fires that firefighters have to deal with when people leave them burning after having consumed too much eggnog.

But it might surprise you to know that there's also another very real danger besides possible house fires. The way it looks, you really might want to take a look at all of the warnings on the side of those buggers before setting them out next holiday season. Take a look at the video below to find out more.

It's a fact, scented candles have the ability to transform any room in the house into everything from an exotic eastern spice den to a tropical paradise to a Christmas scene that Norman Rockwell would dream about.

But, it's not just a wonderful smell that scented candles give off. If not used correctly, they can also produce lots and lots of soot. 

So even though you might think that you're turning your living room into Santa's workshop, in reality it could end up seeming more like Charles Dickens' dystopic Christmas in London, circa 1970.

You may want to be extra careful next time you light those candles up, alright? As it turns out, that soot can lead to all kinds of minor irritations for children and adults alike.

Many candles are made out of paraffin wax, which creates highly toxic benzene and toluene when burned. Both of these substances are known carcinogens. As a matter of fact the toxic chemicals that are released when paraffin candles are burned are the same toxins that are found in diesel fuel fumes.

And to add to that, many scented candles also have wicks that contain heavy metals such as lead. And just burning them for a few hours can create levels of airborne heavy metals that are considered much higher than the acceptable limits.

In the U.S. candle wicks are supposed to be made out of cotton or paper. However, studies have shown that as much as 30% of candle wicks contain heavy metals. And many of the scented candles also contain artificial scents and dyes, which release additional chemicals into the air when they're being burned. 

Take a look at the video below to hear more:

Fortunately, some wonderful alternatives to scented candles do exist and after you try them, you'll probably realize that the alternatives are better anyway.

One alternative is soy-based candles, but you'd have to do a little research to ensure that the candles you get haven't be made with genetically modified soy.

The best alternative by far is beeswax candles, which are not only safe, but have the added benefit of actually helping to clean the indoor air.

Beeswax candles give off the same warm glow of regular candles, but they don't have the same toxic effects! 

So, what do you think? Are you for scented candles or against them?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below and please make sure to 'SHARE' this interesting information with family and friends on Facebook!