I stumbled across this lovely article about the dangers of hygge. It suggests that particulate inhalation from burning an excessive number of candles is a huge health risk in Denmark and can cancel out any other benefits of the hygge.
Lars Gunnarsson, a professor at the Danish Building Research Institute, warns that the the pursuit of hygge at all costs has pushed Danish consumption of candles to a dangerous high.“In Denmark we are amongst the world’s highest consumers of candles. It is quite extreme in an international context that we use so many,” he told TV2.“I can see that this “hygge-junkie” conduct is very widely spread, judging by what I see among the people around me, and there’s no doubt that the particles given off by candles are very, very powerful.”Gunnarsson warned that perhaps a majority of the 3,000 Danes who die each year as a result of particle pollution suffered their main exposure as a result of excess candle-burning.
I can attest to the Danish fondness for candles. It seemed like every cafe and restaurant regardless of how nice had candles in it. As did student flats. There is no occasion that Danes feel does not require candles. I even started burning candles in my room to get into the spirit of the country. Half of the products at Tiger seem to be highly decorative candle holders — that is where I bought my candles.
The UK on the other hand is a place terrified of fire. Candles are not a thing and I’m sure that I would have been lynched for burning one in my student flat. Attending a Scottish Art School in the wake of the GSA fire made everyone extra vigilant about the potential dangers of fire. Tiger in the UK (which I miss dearly) also had some chique candle holders but they were accompanied by fake battery operated tea lights instead of wax ones. Perhaps some kind of balance between the paralyzing fear of fire running through the UK — all doors are fire doors — and the weirdly overzealous attitude towards candles in Denmark would be advisable. Now I will feel less lame using fake candles since it’s for health reasons.