In the midst of the Ebola crisis, some candles have become a common sight in communities across West Africa.
One candle, for example, was created by a mother and her daughter, who were looking for the right kind of candle to burn when the outbreak first broke out.
The mother, who has asked not to be named, said she bought two from a market in Gueckedou, a town in the Liberian capital, Monrovia.
“They’re so beautiful,” she told Al Jazeera.
“You can’t even describe how beautiful they are, but they’re so light and you can put them on the floor and they’re burning all day long.”
This candle is made with four different kinds of candle wax, which are combined with wood for the ultimate glow.
The candles are also made with beeswax, which is used to make perfumes.
The idea behind these candles was to encourage people to keep a candle in their room.
“There is no reason for a candle to stay in a bedroom, for people to stay inside for days,” the mother said.
“It should be placed in the living room and in the bedroom.
If a candle has been left in the house, the next morning it’s the same.
And if it has been there for several days, it’s better to burn it down and clean it up.”
The candles burn for about three hours, but the mother found it more efficient to keep the candles in her kitchen, so she can cook a meal for herself or a family member.
A mother holds a candle for her daughter and two of her daughters during a candlelight vigil at the city hall of the Liberians capital, Liberian cities of Monroto, Ouagadougou and Guekou, December 23, 2014.
The candle is then thrown in the garbage bin to be incinerated, as it would be in a normal house.
In the United States, the American Medical Association has also urged the government to consider the use of candles during this Ebola crisis.
“Cigarette smoke, carbon monoxide, other toxins and volatile organic compounds can all be present in the air and may be harmful to people and the environment,” the AMA said in a statement.
“The best way to reduce the risk of exposure is to smoke and reduce exposure to other hazardous substances such as lead, which can cause harm to people who are at increased risk of respiratory illness, such as pregnant women.”
It also recommended that the government implement “a strategy to minimize the use and disposal of household hazardous waste.”
According to the American Cancer Society, a major cause of cancer deaths is the exposure to smoke.
“Although people have many other sources of exposure to carbon monoxides, they have no control over the source of these toxic substances and the amount of CO2 they produce,” said Dr. Sarah Kost, a medical toxicologist at the American College of Physicians.
“Even small amounts of carbon monoxy can have devastating consequences for a developing baby or a child.”
The American Cancer Association also warned against the use, production, sale and storage of household waste as the toxic substances in cigarettes and other toxic products can be inhaled and ingested.
“Smoking and burning cigarettes are extremely harmful to the lungs and heart, and these products are not regulated and cannot be safely disposed of,” said Sara M. Ostroff, director of the tobacco-related health division at the AMA.
“In addition, tobacco products contain a range of carcinogens that can cause cancer.”
As such, the organization recommended that smokers refrain from using tobacco products while they are pregnant, and that smokers stop using any cigarette or other tobacco products within 24 hours of quitting.
The AMA also called for a public health campaign to discourage smoking among children.
“Children are particularly vulnerable to exposure to carcinogens in tobacco smoke,” said Kost.
“Because tobacco smoke is so hard to detect and to extinguish, it is important that we encourage children to stay away from tobacco products as they become adults.”
This is particularly important for young children, because they are at high risk of developing asthma, and the lungs are also more vulnerable to the effects of smoking.