Today we will share a little known life fact that can help you on your path to healthier living.
First, see if you know that answer to the following question:
Which of the following can ruin your health?
The answer is: All of the above.
We realize this is a bit devastating. The alluring, hypnotic glow. The coziness of low, flickering light. The romantic, calming ambience. The refreshing, delicious smell that can bring so much content, comfort and happiness. Scented candles are just so darn lovely. But they can be seriously bad for your health.
The subject of bad indoor air quality in our homes may not often be a hot topic, but it is considered a major health risk and cause of disease and death for millions of people world wide. Bad indoor air quality that damages our health can be attributed to a variety of things such as biological contaminants (bacteria, viruses, mould, allergens etc), bad circulation or poor ventilation. Another very big factor is the soup of Volatile Organic Compounds we live with in our modern lives – which are found in and emitted by so many things in our homes such as paint, glues, building materials, furniture materials, fabrics, cleaning chemicals etc. Artificial fragrances are a major contributor to the amount of VOCs in the air we breathe in at home. And scented candles, unfortunately, can be a huge contributor.
First off, most scented candles are made from paraffin, which is a a petroleum waste product and has to be chemically refined, bleached and deodorized before being made into candle wax. When burned, paraffin wax emits a very wide variety of toxic fumes and particles, including ultra-fine soot particles containing acetone, benzene and toluene, which are seen in things like diesel exhaust and other known carcinogens like cigarette smoke. And to make things even more ominous, many scented candles also have wicks that contain heavy metals such as lead, and burning these for even a few hours can raise the airborne heavy metal levels we ingest to unacceptable levels, which the EPA says can reach up to 5 times the amount considered hazardous to children. To make things worse, studies also show that you don’t even have to light scented candles for them to give off health wrecking chemicals – evaporation of the chemicals in them alone can contaminate the air in your home.
The bottom line is that although scented candles were designed to bring comfort and a sense of wellbeing into our lives, they actually accomplish the exact opposite. Scented candles can ruin our health. With so many hidden VOCs in our lives slowly but steadily and stealthily damaging our health in a variety of ways, the last thing we really need is another foe disguised as a friend to further damage our health.
But. Do not despair. There are alternatives. It is not all doom and gloom. The name of the game is to find candles that are made from natural materials and do not contain any VOCs. There are soy and beeswax candles available in the market, so there are indeed ways to enjoy that warm, comforting glow and smell of scented candles without any of the damaging materials that ruin our health. Beeswax candles also actually emit negative ions when burned. So while beeswax candles may not emit enough negative ions to actually say you are purifying your air (you need quite a massive amount of negative ions to say that they are actually cleaning your air), you can at least feel more confident that they aren’t pouring more toxic pollution into the air you and your family are breathing. Scented candles can truly be lovely if you get the right kind. They can truly be damaging if you don’t.
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