British Lung Foundation
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Citronella Oil

Good morning all

I recently invested the princely sum of £7.98 to get two garden candles on the obviously ridiculous assumption that it might stop raining at some point & we could sit outside for 10 minutes one evening.

Anyway in spite of my ludicrously optimistic & fundamentally flawed thinking I've got them set up. They require the use of citronella oil though & the labels give out dire warnings about the potential to cause severe lung damage. Does anyone know how lethal the stuff is? Does breathing in the fumes or getting it on your skin pose any risk?

I've ended up wearing gardening gloves to pour it out but even so I can still smell it & my fingers still somehow end up smelling of it. I wonder should I have a face mask, get rid of my investment altogether, or fall back on the ever reliable 'get my wife to sort it out' technique?

It would be disappointing to lose them as there's a strong rumour around here that there could be two sunny days in mid-September.

6 Replies


Have a read

Considering what it can kill of, I would use with caution, as it it also used in perfume and soap it may be a trigger, which could effect your breathing,

Do you have problems with household products.

They are my achillea heal plus air fresheners.


I can have problems sometimes with household problems...nothing that ever wipes me out as such but I sometimes get short of breath from perfumes, sprays, etc.

Thanks for the link as well.


I bought some of those a couple of years ago the smell was awful and when we lit them they gave off thick black smoke. If I were you I would get rid of them, don't even bother lighting them. They certainly made me cough.

polly xx


Your post made me smile, but on the more serious side these candles sound risky for those with lung problems so I would bin them. That's my opinion.


Are you using them outdoors? I would have thought that if it is outside and you are not sitting too close to them it should be alright. In Australia citronella, in candle form and oil, is used regularly by lots of people to keep mosquitoes at bay.



Yes they are outdoors & we partly got them to stop the midges we get around here that treat me like a free takeaway.

At the moment the problem is being solved anyway by the fact it never stops flipping raining!!

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