FDA: Don't Stick Burning Candles In Your Ears

FDA issues alert, launches crackdown on ear candles
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 20, 2010 5:16 AM CST
Ear candles are dangerous even when used as per the maker's instructions, the FDA warns.   (FDA)

(Newser) – Putting a paraffin or beeswax-soaked tube in your ear and lighting it is a bad idea despite what the makers of ear candles may tell you, the FDA warns. The candles—sold as treatments for ear wax buildup, sinus problems, and headaches—can be hazardous and the FDA believes there is "no valid scientific evidence for any medical benefit," the agency said in a consumer alert issued this week.

Injuries reported from using the candles include punctured eardrums and burns to the face, ear canal, and eardrum, according to the FDA, which warns that the devices are especially hazardous to children. The agency and its Canadian counterpart have begun warning manufacturers, issuing injunctions, and seizing shipments of the candles, the Los Angeles Times reports.

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