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I’ve always loved a good scented candle. To me a nice candle is an affordable luxury.   I’ve always been a sucker for whatever new candle is available and I’m was always the one to give them away as gifts. Some candles are packaged so beautifully that you’ll just buy one because it’ll look so pretty on your coffee table.  You’ll see a beautiful candle and you inhale that amazing scent, endorphins are released and then BAM…they’ve got you! Item SOLD.  Not only did you just spend way too much for a chunk of paraffin wax but you’re also about to put your health at risk. Most scented candles can pollute your air and are considered to be as dangerous as second-hand smoke. A lot of candles are also made with paraffin wax. Paraffin is a petroleum waste product and has to be chemically bleached before it can be made into wax. When paraffin wax is burned it releases carcinogens. The toxins released from paraffin candles are the same as those found in DIESEL fumes.  Scary!

As far as the wicks of the candles? Many scented candles have wicks that contain heavy metals like lead. In the US, lead wicks have been banned and wicks are supposed to be made of cotton or paper.  Still somehow studies have shown as much as 30% of candles still contain heavy metals in wicks. Why? Lack of regulation I presume.

Exposure to high amounts of lead can cause hormone disruption, behavioral problems, learning disabilities, and numerous health problems.

Most candles also contain artificial scents and dyes, which release additional chemicals when burned.

What are the alternatives? Well we do have choices! Soy based candles are a great way to go and even better (in my opinion) are beeswax candles. Beeswax candles give off the same affects as the standard paraffin candles but without the toxic effects.

The Breakdown:
Choose candles that use a cotton or paper wick, and are either unscented or scented with essential oils. The candles themselves should be made with 100 percent soy, beeswax, coconut wax, hemp oil, or some combination that doesn’t contain any paraffin.

 

Source: greenamerica.org

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