Image: AP

Danish scientists are sounding the alarm about the dangers of hygge—specifically, the potentially negative health effects of burning candles all the damn time, for coziness.

The Guardian has this alarming news:

Research on mice by scientists at Copenhagen University showed that exposure to particles from burning candles caused greater damage than the same dose of diesel exhaust fumes. Effects included lung inflammation and toxicity, arteriosclerosis, and ageing effects on chromosomes in the lungs and spleen.

“We don’t really understand why this is, there must be something special to these candlelight combustion particles,” said Prof Peter Møller, the study’s lead author. The issue is under-researched, he said.

“Last week the Danish health authority’s scientific advice committee called for the concentration of particles from candles used indoors to be reduced,” the Guardian added. Prof Lars Gunnarsen, a committee member, recommended “complete avoidance” of candles. That’s in addition to obvious fire hazard; Mads Dalgaard of the Danish emergency management agency BRS told the Guardian that house fires jump every single winter Copenhagen: “We have lots of candles inside homes so we can hygge; it is something we have done forever. But people do stupid thing.”

I am no scientist, but I am somebody who is on day five of a frustrating asthma flare-up that I am now realizing could credibly be attributed to my reckless enthusiasm for Christmas-scented candles.

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I am, quite literally, too cozy to function.