I’ll be completely honest and admit that sometimes I wish I could hit reverse and go back to my years of things I didn’t know, way back before we started researching and studying about real food and natural living.
In some cases, I think it would be easier – that was before we ever worried about eating foods laden in sugar, drinking coffee or, buying boxed cereal for the kids.
And while some might love and consider it easy to just open up the cereal box or bag and feed their kids cereal in the morning, we just can’t do that. Knowing how bad those things are for you, it’s been quite some effort to modify those habits – and now that they are modified, making sure we stay on the right path is important.
One of the areas that some people struggle with is getting rid of the toxic cleaning products they use, not to mention scented candles, warmers, air fresheners, and wall plug-ins. Those beautiful, and sometimes expensive candles can be amazing – sure, they can. But they are also very icky to have around, too.
What’s Harmful About Candles?
Candles are popular at this time of the year – as Yankee Candle drags out the holiday scented varieties, of pumpkin and evergreen so that you can smell trees and pumpkins wherever you go.
And every time you walk by the mall in the store.
Most (not all) candles are made from paraffin wax. Paraffin is a petroleum waste product – not only does it give off toxic fumes from burning a candle, paraffin in itself is a waste product. The wax is chemically bleached and deodorized. At that point it’s made into wax.
Paraffin is actually the final byproduct in the refining chain of petroleum. (source)
In 2001, the EPA concluded that burning paraffin candles releases large amounts of toxins in the air that are above the excess cancer risk (source). Then in 20015, the American Lung Association gave out letters to the public warning of the dangers of paraffin – but the National Candle Association (NCA) threatened them with legal action for trying to warn the public.
What’s even worse, is that the oil industry has 4 members who sit on the board for the National Candle Association – so they play a big part in the business of candle making. (source)
What about other Air Fresheners
Air fresheners (spray varieties, plug-ins, and even spraying fresheners that automatically eject fragrance) contain phthalates, which are known for their role in hormonal abnormalities, and reproductive issues.
Air fresheners can worsen allergies, as they contain dangerous carcinogens like benzene and formaldehyde. Many have phthalates, though not listed in the ingredient list. These toxic ingredients can add up over time and wreck havoc on the kidneys, liver, and nervous system.
All the more reason to toss them out.
If candles are toxic, and other air freshener varieties are just as dangerous, then what do you use instead?
Candle Free Alternatives
Essential Oils are a wonderful alternative to toxic candles – and it’s important to invest in a quality essential oil. There a rather large differences between essential oils you find in store (which are typically chemically created substances) and pure, therapeutic grade essential oils.
Did you know…
When you inhale Essential Oils through your nose, tiny nerves send an immediate signal to the brain; at that point in time, the brain immediately goes to work on the systems that moderate your mind and body.
Inhalation is the most direct method of nurturing components in essential oils: the chemical messengers in the nasal cavity have direct access to your brain.
Essential oils have the ability to pass the blood/brain barrier and penetrate membranes allows them to reach the emotional center of the brain in seconds.
In fact, you can probably replicate all of your favorite candle scents by using a diffuser and any essential oil.
These oils you find in store are usually created as synthetic substances – the smell is a mere imitation, but the therapeutic properties are not present. You’ll want to make sure you are using real quality, therapeutic grade essential oils. (See what we recommend HERE).