ARE YOUR CANDLES TOXIC?
You know the saying “they don’t make them like they used to?” well more now than ever this rings true! Our insatiable desire for fast, new and on mass has changed the way we do so much. I have written a few posts about this as it seems to be a recurring theme when it comes to our health.
Today I want to talk about something that can have a huge impact on our health and we seem to be completely oblivious that it is. Are the candles we use in our home toxic?
Well, the answer to this is more than likely yes!
Scented candles seem to be the go to candle, they offer the necessary scent to entice us to make a purchase. We enjoy filling our home with these little delights, creating ambiance, enticing calm and often just to cover the weird smell you can’t quite identify……kids sneakers…..the dog…..that curry you made two night ago??? You know it happens, don’t deny it!
So these candles are bought and placed in our homes for a positive experience, however, they can be causing us harm. According to Anne Steinemann who is an environmental pollutants expert and professor of civil engineering at the University of Melbourne certain fragrances including the ones in scented candles may cause health problems from migraine headaches to asthma attacks.
Researchers have also shown some scented candles produce smoke laced with almost as many toxins as those produced by cigarettes.
Most candles we buy are made of paraffin wax, paraffin wax starts as the disgusting sludge at the bottom of the barrel of crude oil. Even asphalt is extracted before paraffin in the refining process.
When burned paraffin wax creates highly toxic carcinogens aka a substance capable of causing cancer in living tissue.
Then there’s the wick. There tends to be two kinds of wicks, cored and non-cored wicks. What’s the difference? Well, the non-cored wicks are typically made from cotton that has simply been twisted. This is not the preferred option for candle producers as the wicks are weak and can become limp and fall into the wax. Cored wicks tend to also be made from cotton, but have a core. This can be made out of paper, which is fine, or the core can be made from zinc, tin or until recently lead!
THE ALTERNATIVES AVAILABLE
Thankfully there are many alternatives. I started off with soy candles when I made the switch, they are paraffin free, but you still need to be very careful when purchasing soy. Often the soy wax is mixed with paraffin wax to reduce cost. These candles can also have the dangerous fragrances added and still claim to be safe as they are “soy”. Soy is also one of the most genetically modified crops on the planet. These crops are known to be highly sprayed with toxic pesticides. So when purchasing soy be careful, find out what the exact ingredients are, what the wick is made of and what fragrances have been used.
So I started off with soy candles, but I am making another switch. I found it too difficult to get right. I found it difficult to find a truly safe soy candle that I liked, I began not trusting what was on the label and didn’t want to take the risk any longer. So I moved to beeswax.
BENEFITS OF BEESWAX
Beeswax candles are amazing! Beeswax candles are safe and have wonderful health benefits for your home and family. In our indoor environment, there are numerous pollutants from dirt, pollen, dust and mold, these all contain a positive charge, that’s how they stay suspended in the air. But beeswax, when burned, releases negative ions, so when you burn a beeswax candle it binds with the nasties in our air, it makes them heavy and they are either sucked back into the candle or fall to the ground.
If you are going to buy beeswax candles go for 100% pure beeswax only, preferably organic. These beautiful candles require no added fragrances because the pollen and honey content of the wax add the colour and sweet fragrance.
Beeswax candles also burn longer than any other candle, so they are a wonderful investment. Not only do they clean the air and reduce indoor pollutants, they can also effectively reduce asthma, allergies, and hay fever.
Unfortunately, we are surrounded by harmful products that we are not aware of on a daily basis, I love looking into and discovering what alternatives are out there. Sometimes making small changes such as switching candles can have a large impact on our health and our loved ones.
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I would also love to hear what you think about my post, leave me a comment below ♥
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