Candle-lighting Danes to blame for their own poor indoor climate

Smoke, cooking and not airing out the main culprits

Too much candlelight 'hygge' can be a bad thing (photo: iStock) Too much candlelight ‘hygge’ can be a bad thing (photo: iStock)
March 7th, 2016 1:48 pm| by Christian W
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According to a new report from the Center for Indoor Air and Health in Dwellings (CISBO), most air pollutants in Copenhagen homes are produced by the residents themselves.

The report investigated non-smoking homes only, as smoking is already known to be a considerable air pollutant, and found that about 75 percent of the particle pollution in Copenhagen homes stems from the residents who live there.

“Winter time is particle time,” said Gabriel Bekö, an associate professor at Denmark’s Technical University (DTU) who is the author of the report.


“The Danes cosy up with candlelight and good food over the winter months, during which they are less likely to air out when it’s cold outside. They should be careful with that.”

READ MORE: Air in Denmark’s capital getting cleaner

Horrors of ‘hygge’
At homes in which candles are used, over 50 percent of the particle pollution comes from the candle smoke, while cooking – particularly frying, baking and toasting – accounts for just under 30 percent. Boiling only accounted for a tiny percentage.

CISBO’s three key recommendations to avoid particle pollution indoors is to avoid smoking indoors, avoid using candles, and airing out when cooking.

CISBO is financed by the philanthropic organisation Realdania and includes some of Denmark’s leading indoor climate researchers from DTU, the University of Copenhagen, Aarhus University, Aalborg University and the National Research Centre for the Working Environment.