Is Your Candle a Cancer Stick?

Everyone loves the flickering light and gentle aroma of a candle, but are they really a safe part of your chemical-free home? The answer may surprise you.

Candles create an ambiance that we love to enjoy in our homes especially in the fall as the holidays approach. We use them to relax in the bathroom or to scent the air of our living spaces. We even give them as gifts during the holidays. However, studies show that they create toxic emissions just like cigarettes do that are detrimental to your family’s health. So what’s the big deal, you ask?

First, paraffin wax is made from petroleum products which create indoor pollution and contain known carcinogens. Read that – ‘known to cause cancer’. The problem is that they do not burn at high enough temperatures to combust hazardous molecules such as toluene and benzene – chemicals known to cause damage to the brain, lung and central nervous systems. And there are numerous other nasty chemicals released in the smoke. Researcher Amid Hamidi from the University of South Carolina said, “Lighting them frequently in an unventilated bathroom around a tub may cause problems.” If you wouldn’t allow someone to light up a cigarette in your home, then maybe you shouldn’t light up a candle in your home for the same reasons.

Second, candle wicks are frequently made with a lead core, and as much as 30% continue to be sold even though this was banned in 2003. Burning lead wicks releases five times the amount of lead considered safe for children by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Given that lead is a brain toxin, carcinogen, and hormone disruptor, I am not sure I would consider ANY level to be "safe".

Thirdly, fragrance has been found by the EPA to contain potentially hazardous chemicals such as acetone and phthalates – known endocrine disruptors and respiratory irritants/allergens. Phthalates are listed on labels as fragrance. While we want to freshen the air with fragrances that we love, those chemicals cause respiratory or organ problems. Just walk down the grocery aisle for air fresheners and see if your lungs, eyes, and nose react. Does it take your breathe away or make your eyes water? Even if your nose and lungs seemingly approve, your hormones are taking a beating that over time could contribute to infertility, early menopause, or other frustrating imbalances. Phthalates have also been found to cause cancer. Not the impact we want for our kids, is it?

Are there safe alternatives? Researchers suggest that soy or beeswax candles are safer. The problem lies in that many still contain some paraffin waxes and all contain fragrances. Even those labeled as 100% soy still contain some amount of paraffin. Personally I feel that using soy is a vote for Monsanto who produces GMO soy seeds that are extremely harmful for food not to mention the chemical glyphosate and the whole controversy surrounding it. Google “harmful effects of soy and glyphosate” and you will see words like obesity, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Enough said.

Those that claim to use essential oils or “natural” fragrance are waving huge red flags. The majority of essential oils in the US are adulterated with unknown additives or solvents (as much as 95%), or they are synthetically produced in a lab. You don’t know what you are getting and the potential is great that it will make you sick. It is legal in the US to put only 5% actual essential oil in your bottle and then label it as “100% pure”. Yikes! What to do?

Solution Found That Enhances Health!

The only truly safe alternative that we have found for our home is to diffuse therapeutic grade essential oils from a trusted source that uses no additives or solvents. That source is Young Living. Their Seed to Seal guarantee ensures that you truly get 100% actual essential oil and nothing else in the bottle. A few of their oil blends may contain small amounts of carrier oil to hold together a blend and allow for ease of topical application. No chemicals, no pesticides, no herbicides, no solvents, and no YUCK!

What is “diffusing” and why is it safe? Our diffuser of choice utilizes ultrasonic technology to break up a mixture of essential oils and water into extremely fine microparticles and disperses them in the air. It creates a cold water vapor and does NOT use heat which damages the potency of the oils. Diffusing also releases negative ions which clears the air of unpleasant odors and pollutants, unlike candles which produce harmful positive ions. The diffuser itself is made of polypropylene that is safe to use with essential oils and won’t emit plastics into the air.

Plus, we can choose from hundreds of oil fragrances offered by Young Living and create our own favorites! These oils offer not only a spa-like atmosphere, they also offer health benefits when inhaled. They can support focus for a task, calming at the end of the day, or an atmosphere of peace in your home. They may boost immune systems and support various systems of the body according to the Essential Oils Desk Reference. These oils are safe for the reasons listed above thanks to the Seed to Seal guarantee which we have personally witnessed at several of their farms and distilleries. You can learn more at seedtoseal.com.

While there are several diffusers to choose from, the new Desert Mist Diffuser offers 11 different lighting options including a romantic candle flicker! Talk about ambiance of the healthy kind without fumes, smoke, or toxins! This diffuser runs longer (up to 10 hours), is easy to use and clean, and features a beautiful design that will look elegant in any home or office. Ditch the toxic candles and switch to the safe Desert Mist Diffuser. You will love it!

Some favorites we enjoy diffusing are Lemon, Frankincense with Tangerine, RC blend, Thieves blend, and Citrus Fresh blend. With fall around the corner, here’s a Pumpkin Pie Spice recipe to try. You won’t even miss your old candles and may wonder why you didn’t kick them out of the house sooner!

Check out our facebook page Naturally Alive with Brenda for more Autumn Diffuser blends and ideas on how to kick the chemicals out of your home! To get started, learn more here.

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