Candles Toxic to HealthDo you come home from work, tired and stressed, and feel relaxed when you light a scented candle? Perhaps you de-stress by lying in the tub, reading a book and enjoying the delightful aromatherapy from your candle. Maybe you enjoy spicing up the romance by lighting a candle. Alternatively, maybe you just simply enjoy filling your home with a nice scent.

Most people do not know that they are exposing their family to toxic chemicals.

Why are candles unhealthy?

Of course, you will not get sick if you light a candle on occasion. However, if you make it a daily practice you may want to know the following:

1. Paraffin Wax: In today’s market, you will find a large number of candles made from paraffin wax, which is nothing more than a by-product of petroleum. When you light a candle, you are releasing harmful substances such as benzene and toluene into the air. These vapors are similar to those released from diesel engines, although it is hard to believe. Aromatherapy using paraffin candles are similar to an attempt to inhale fresh air in a traffic jam on the highway! Benzene is a carcinogen, and overuse of candles may result in respiratory problems and asthma as well as the chronic problems such as cancer. Toluene can cause issues with kidneys, liver, lungs, nervous system and milder complaints of headache and fatigue.

2. Lead: The wick in a candle may contain lead, it has been determined that 30% of candles sold contain lead wicks. Heavy metals are released into the air from the toxic fumes of a lit candle. Lead exposure may result in hormonal disorder, kidney disease, interfere with concentration and memory. Lead exposure can also lead to the following issues, which are becoming more prevalent in children; they include behavioral disorders, hyperactivity and depression.

3. Cadmium: The metal core of the wick is made of cadmium. Cadmium is a carcinogen that affects the function of the kidneys and liver, immune system and cardiovascular systems. It has also been linked to prostate cancer.

4. Aldehyde and Benzene: Artificial fragrance and color are what makes candles appealing to the consumer, but they can be harmful when evaporated. Most often, they cause allergic reactions and irritation. Artificial fragrance has artificial ingredients, such as aldehyde and benzene derivatives. These chemicals can cause cancer, affect the central nervous system and cause birth defects.

Should you completely avoid candles?

No! You can buy All Natural Candles made with beeswax or soy, and you can also fill your house with the aroma of essential oils.
Here are some ways to enjoy the delights of aromatherapy in a healthier way.

Fill your house with the scent of essential oils:

If you want to enjoy a nice scent in your home, try essential oils, it creates a relaxing and pleasurable scent without toxic additives. Essential oils affect the sense of pleasure, calm nerves, improves the immune system, kills bacteria and fungus, all while improving concentration.

1. Add to Bath. You can add a few drops to your bath rather than light a candle in the bathroom.

2. Make an Air Freshener Spray:

  • 15 drops of pure essential oil
  • 1-½ cups of water
  • 1/8 cup of vodka
  • Put it in a spray bottle, and mist as often as desired.

** The Vodka acts as an emulsifier allowing the water and oil to mix.

3. Diffuse Essential Oils. Everyone has different fragrances that ignite different emotions. You should experiment with different scents to find the right one for your pleasure. The smell will permeate your home and create a relaxing, calm or invigorating environment. It is all based on your mood and the oil of choice. Read more about the 13 Top Ways to Diffuse Essential Oils.

Buy Natural Candles

1. Beeswax: If you enjoy candle light as well as the scent. Replace candles with healthier candles. Buy candles made from beeswax. They have a mild scent of honey – no intensive smell as the candles that are made with artificial fragrances, but also no paraffin and toxic fumes.  Select a candle that is 100% beeswax, not mixed with paraffin!

2. Non-GMO Soy Candles:  They are made from natural, vegetable wax and have no harmful vapors.

3. Cotton Wicks:  Look for candles with no metal core wicks. These wicks are made of 100% cotton, which means they are softer than those with a core, but they do not pollute the air. Check whether candles have lead by pulling the wick and trace a line on a piece of paper. If the line is gray, then your wick is probably made with lead.

4. Avoid Imported Candles: A large portion of candles are manufactured in China, Taiwan and other countries where the use of lead core wicks are commonly used. Candles manufactured in the United States should not have lead in the wick.

5. Avoid Gel Candles: They are manufactured from paraffin then converted to gel.

6. Avoid Candles with Thick Wicks: Avoid candles with too thick and too long of a wick. A small flame results in a smaller amount of soot released in the air.

Use candles in a well-ventilated or large room. Open windows if necessary and avoid using candles in the bathroom.

Do not overdo it! One candle will not kill you. Excessive exposure to toxins in candles may have an impact on your health.

Think twice before the next time you light a candle for the purpose of relaxation, well-being and romance. Paraffin candles with lead core filters and artificial fragrance will not provide the outcome you are seeking.

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