Fall starts in 22 days. This usually also has people rushing to the stores to get fall candles or to get there leftover ones out of storage and light them up. I get wanting to have my home smell good, to enjoy those warm and welcoming scents--plus the cozy glow of a candle, but there are health risks that we aren't told about.
In this study, they surveyed some "selected scented consumer goods" found that they emitted over 100 VOC's (Volatile Organic Compounds). Many are classified as toxic and harmful to humans. They tested products that were labeled as "natural" or "organic" and found some of those same harmful chemicals!
Over 25 different types of products were tested, many of them popular, top selling brands. Everything from laundry detergents to air fresheners, dryer sheets, lotions, shampoos, and more. All of these contain an ingredient called "fragrance". However this is NOT a single additive like we would think and are led to believe. Fragrance is made up of a mixture of many chemical compounds in order to re-create a specific scent. The companies call it proprietary so they don't have to list each of the individual components, which can be as high as 350 separate chemical products.
These products emit hazardous and even cancer causing chemicals into the air that we breathe every time we use them and candles are no exception.
Candles that are made with 100% pure beeswax, or another natural wax like coconut, hemp or soy are much safer, but most are made with paraffin wax, which is toxic. Scented candles, which are made with paraffin wax, give off dangerous vapors like benzene and toluene. The wicks can contain heavy metals that become airborne and are easily inhaled when burned. In addition, the scents and dyes used to make scented candles release harmful chemicals that can cause a variety of health issues like hormonal, behavioral and general health related issues.
Other scented products like air freshener sprays, plugs ins, etc. also post similar risks.
Several studies have confirmed that residual chemicals from plug ins can accumulate in the human body over a period of time. As these chemicals accumulate the amount stored in the body increases. This has health consequences. A plug in type product relies on something called heat induction technology and special heat-activated gels. This is what causes the scent to be released. There is an enormous number of toxic compounds in these gels. Plug ins contain the same chemicals as aerosol sprays (shown below), and in addition, they contain Naphthalene. This one has been found to cause cancer in the lungs and tissue damage in lab studies which leads experts believe it likely has the same effect in humans.
Scientific studies have shown that one-quarter of common household air fresheners contain chemicals that are potentially harmful. Our lungs have been designed to filter out toxins, but we are exposed to an enormous amount of chemicals on a daily basis just by walking outside! There are so many things we breath in that we don't know about and definitely can't see. We can't control what's out there, but we can be the gatekeepers for our homes and take steps to reduce the exposure.
People who have existing lung conditions like asthma, COPD and young children who are still developing are at the most susceptible to the effects of these chemicals, but really no one is immune to the dangers of these synthetically scented products. In this article from The Lung Association, they outline the risks to our respiratory health.
Here is a brief list of the chemicals that may be present in aerosol sprays:
(In addition, cleaning products have cancer causing and lung damaging ingredients. Read more here.)
Diffusing essential oils is a much better, healthier and safer way to cleanse the air, make your home smell fresh and maintain wellness too! An essential oil diffuser enhances the environment by spreading the aroma of herbal, woodsy or citrus essential oils throughout the air. The small molecule of the essential oils permeate the air in your home. Diffusers have therapeutic and aesthetic purpose and help provide many health and wellness benefits for those who use them daily.
I'm going to share some of the ways having and using essential oils in your home can be useful and helpful, while also enhancing your health and well-being. They are definitely much safer and better for you than candles, plug ins, gels or sprays!
I'd love to help YOU get started living a healthier, more chemical free lifestyle! It's easy to get started with Young Living and become a part of my oily family, Essential Living Community. I have a private, members only, group on Facebook and send out a monthly email newsletter plus other goodies!
If you're ready to fill your home with the amazing benefits of essential oils, go here to get started! I'll send you a welcome letter and gift!