Are Scented Candles Safe?
What could be wrong with lighting a scented candle?
It’s relaxing, creates a warm ambiance and smells so nice, it has to be one of life’s more innocent pleasures, doesn’t it?
Not any more…
While the sweet scents and mood enhancing ability of scented candles may be alluring, their by-products are lethal. These days scented candles are filled with artificial fragrances and toxic ingredients that give plenty of reason for concern.
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. Not only do the soot and chemicals get all over your home, but they get into your nose and lungs where they can do serious harm.
Toxins from Burning
Even burning pure essential oils drastically alters their delicate constituents into potentially harmful substances.
Toxins in Paraffin Wax
Paraffin candles are as dangerous to the lungs as second-hand smoke. The more you candles you burn, the more the harmful effect is multiplied. That’s because when burned, paraffin releases benzene and toluene – known carcinogens. These toxic substances are inhaled into you and your family’s lungs and leave residue on walls, ceilings and fabrics. It’s may be hard to believe the soot from paraffin candles contains many of the same toxins found in diesel fuel, but it’s true.
Lead in Wicks
Candles from China, South America and other developing countries often contain lead in the wicks. These countries lack the resources to monitor the safety of products. Burning a few leaded wicks for only a few hours will increase lead levels 9 to 11 times over acceptable limits. Just burning 4 metal-wick candles for two hours can result in enough airborne lead concentrations to pose a threat to human health. Some homes where leaded wick candles are burned frequently become so toxic, they cannot be sold.
Slow-burning candles often contain harmful additives. Gel candles contain petroleum with butylated hydroxyl toluene, not exactly healthy substances. Plus, they have a tendency to explode when overheaded.
“Candles are fast becoming one of the most common unrecognized causes of poor indoor air quality,” says Diane Walsh Astry, Executive Director of the Health House Project, an American Lung Association education project in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Soy candles are less toxic, if you don’t mind burning genetically modified plant matter. Frankly, I don’t want to support the GMO industry in any way, shape or form, nor do I want any GMO residue floating around my air space.
The bottom line is, burning any kind of aromatherapy or scented candle is essentially poisoning yourself and your family.
What can you do? How can you enjoy the fragrances without releasing toxic and sometimes lethal substances into the air?
First, if you must burn a candle, make sure it’s beeswax. Beeswax candles are considerably safer than paraffin and metal-wicked. But they are expensive and not as readily available.
Secondly, try diffusing essential oils instead. Rather than burning essential oils, diffusers work like atomizers, breaking up molecules into a microscopic mist and sending them out into the room. When you diffuse with therapeutic-grade essential oils, you are actually benefiting your body and lungs. Diffusing is a safe, easy and healthy way to infuse your favorite fragrance into your home.
The Ultrasonic Diffuser is a brand-new, state-of-the-art system that can diffuse even the thickest of oils.
Our olefactory sense is an important part of life and should be enjoyed. Harmful and toxic fragrances can be easily avoided. There’s no need to forego infusing your home and life with wonderful scents. Simply diffuse natural fragrances and essential oils instead of burning dangerous scented candles.