We are at that time of year where we are all searching for that pumpkin spice or cinnamon scent. Anything that smells like fall. If you walk into a shopping mall at this time of year, you know exactly the smell I am talking about. Whether you like the ambiance of a candle light or the spa like feel, I am so sorry to tell you that you maybe doing your body more harm than good. No really, I am sorry.
I remember a few years ago heading to my favorite personal care product store and smelling that smell. It was still over 100 degrees in Phoenix, but that smell made me feel like it wasn’t. Like fall was coming and I had an image flash in my brain of curling up with a good movie, in my favorite blanket with candles lit. One thing that happens as you start to use essential oils, is you find yourself on a path of learning about health in general. Whats good for you, whats not. Its quite a journey and if I am honest, quite unexpected (but insightful).
So after I hoarded a bag full of candles from the store (my favorites were lemon and wintery smells) and got home, I came to learn that my bag was full of harmful chemicals. Not just harmful for me, but for anyone in my home which included kids and my four legged kids too. (Yes, our pets really are family – they take up more room in the bed than a single person!).
I had a filter once in my house that came with strict instructions NOT to burn candles because the soot would destroy the filter. Alas, I didn’t follow instructions and they were right. That soot is the stuff that makes the ceiling in your house black and coats everything with a sooty film. Certainly not for inhaling. The EPA have published articles about candles being an indoor air pollutant.
Traditional candles contain:
>Paraffin is the major ingredient in most conventional candles and is a sludge waste product from the petroleum industry. It can cause respiatory issues. When burned, paraffin releases fumes similar to that of a diesel engine. “Burning an aromatherapy candle made of paraffin is similar to preparing a healthy drink of fresh squeezed juice and adding a shot of gasoline,” says Eric Johnson of Candleworks, an Iowa City, Iowa based company that specializes in wholesaling nontoxic aromatherapy candles.
>Lead Wicks. They were actually banned in the US in 2003, but there are still lead wicks out in the store. It releases lead soot.
>Two particularly toxic chemicals, benzene and toluene, are found in the sooty residue from burning candles. Benzene is cancer-causing and toluene affects the central nervous system.
>Artificial scents and colors may be irritants to some people and/or trigger allergic reactions.
>Most aromatherapy and scented candles contain chemical fragrances. When burned, they are converted into toxins such as acetone (an ingredient in nail polish remover and paint thinner), benezene, toluene, particulate matter and soot.
We may think Soy candles are a better option and while its true that the wax maybe better than paraffin, they still contain fragrances and release soot into the air. There is also a lot of controversy on the Soy industry.
So skip the candle and opt for the LED kind or an ultrasonic diffuser with essential oils instead. Not only are Young Living oils non toxic, they have benefits too.