We’ve all been there… that whiff of vanilla or ocean breeze… the scent caught your attention and made you feel all warm and fuzzy… yup, I loved a good scented candle! In fact, I LOVE candles. I’m not gonna lie. Their soft glow, the romantic feeling they invoke… I used to have candles burning constantly! That was until I found out exactly I was exposing myself, and my family to… those candles were filling my room with chemicals hidden behind those delicious birthday cake and pumpkin spice scents!
Now, not ALL candles are toxic. There are many ways to enjoy candles without exposing yourself and your loved ones to scary things like carcinogens or lead. I still have candles in my house but mostly turn to natural aromatic options like my beloved diffusers, but more on that later!
The scary stuff…
Did you know that according to the FTC & the CPSC, there are absolutely no regulations or standards pertaining to candle manufacturing, and candle makers are accountable to no one, including the consumer?? Much alike Essential Oils, when there is nothing regulating what these companies are putting in their products, there is nothing stopping them from exposing your family to toxins, chemicals and who knows what else! KNOW your products folks!
LEAD – Lead can cause a whole host of negative health effects. Exposure to lead can cause an increase in blood pressure, an increased chance of having a heart attack or stroke, decrease in brain function, a decrease in kidney function (making it hard to get rid of toxic waste products through your urine!), it can harm the physical and mental development of your baby before it’s born and increase chances of having a miscarriage They took lead out of paint, now why is it still in our candles?
“According to a recent study by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), 40 percent of candles on the market contain lead wires inside their wicks. Most often, the candles with lead wicks are scented candles. Fragrance oils soften the wax, so the manufacturers use lead to make the wicks firmer. A candle with a lead-core wick releases five times the amount of lead considered hazardous for children and exceeds EPA pollution standards for outdoor air, says the CPSC. Exposure to high amounts of lead has been linked to hormone disruption, behavioral problems, learning disabilities, and numerous health problems.”
PARAFFIN – Paraffin is a petroleum byproduct. Think, industrial waste. When it is heated it gives off a carcinogenic soot into the air. This soot is very irritating to our respiratory system and can aggravate a whole host of lung issues. If you or your kids have asthma, you do not want to be burning candles that contain paraffin! The soot can also accumulate in your house, appliances, and duct work!
In addition to lead and paraffin, candles can also cause low dose, long term exposures to the following:
- Acetone: Known human respiratory irritant toxicant
- Benzene: Human development toxicant, human reproductive toxicant (candles off-gas Benzene without even being lit!)
- 2-Butanone: Known human respiratory toxicant
- Cresol: Human skin toxicant or allergen
- Chlorobenzene: Human Sensitizer toxicant or allergen
- Carbon Monoxide
- Phenol: This one is really toxic, click the link to read about it
- Styrene: This one is also really toxic, click link to read about it
- Toluene: Persistent or bioaccumulative and moderate to high toxicity concern in humans
- Xylene: Click link to read about it
“Fragrance intensity has been proven to have an enormous influence at point-of-sale for consumers, as a result candle manufacturers are dumping increasing amounts of fragranced oils into their wax mixtures – some of these oils are not even suitable for combustion. Candle manufacturers are not compelled to list or disclose hazardous, toxic or carcinogenic compounds used as ingredients in their products and even more astounding – some will claim they don’t know what compounds are in their product. A spokeswoman for the Federal Trade Commission said there are no restrictions or regulations governing the makers of aromatic candles.”
So what candles should you buy and what candles should you avoid? Glad you asked!
- Really inexpensive candles, like the kind you would find at the dollar store. Also avoid brands like Febreeze and Glade. (note: apparently IKEA’s candles are all lead free)
- Imported candles (anything “Made in China”)
- Artificially scented candles and gel candles
- Candles with a metal core wick
Okay To Use:
Soy Candles: While I do not eat soy, it is okay in candles because it burns clean, with no harmful fumes. However, I am not a supporter of the GMO business, so I try to avoid anything soy….even candles. But, if it’s the choice between soy or paraffin, I’ll take the soy!
Beeswax Candles: Though beeswax can be high on the price point, they are totally worth the extra cash. Beeswax is just that: the wax from bees. Directly from the hive. No fillers. No chemicals. That’s IF you buy the right kind! Sadly, many of the “beeswax candles” found in stores are only part beeswax, and the rest is paraffin and other junk. So check your labels. You can buy beeswax online and make your own candles. HERE is my favorite way to buy it. Then you melt it down, add some essential oils and a cotton wick and you are set! Read more here: Benefits of Beeswax.
Now, if you know me you already know this… my FAVORITE BY FAR and pretty much the way I incorporate aroma into my home is with my DIFFUSER using Essential Oils. The funny thing is now, when I smell artificial scents they almost immediately trigger a headache! My body went through a detox period where I had to get used to oils because I was SO used to artificial fragrances… now my body detoxed and can spot fake from a mile away!
- I can change the scent at any time I like!
- I can change the scent based on my mood and even achieve therapeutic benefits from the different oils
- Speaking of the therapeutic benefits!! You don’t find ANY of those from candles or wax burners! I use oils in my diffuser for everything from headaches, to colds & flu, to deodorizing… the list goes on and on!
- When diffusing oils, you are also adding humidity to the air because they are diffused in water vapor. So it’s great to have the diffuser running in the cold winter months when the air is dry. Mine runs from morning til night all winter long!
- They are completely safe for kids. No flame, means no fire hazard! If the diffuser gets knocked over, it turns off. When the water runs out, it automatically shuts off.
I only trust and use Young Living Essential Oils. They are the only company with a Seed to Seal guarantee that gives me the peace of mind that what is on the bottle, is in the bottle; nothing more nothing less. I KNOW what I’m getting every time. I have been using Young Living products for over three years now and have only grown to love them and their wellness benefits more and more.
If you’d like to learn more about Essential Oils and how they can work for you and your loved ones, click on the link above under Essential Oils, click here or contact me any time! I would LOVE to share more of my story with you ♥
Maureen Dietz – Young Living Distributor/Member #2582537
*Information in this article was referenced from RealFoodRN