Do You Know What You're Smelling? The Haunting Effects of Candles on Your Health and the Environment
During the fall season, I love lighting a candle to help bring a sweet smell of cranberries, cinnamon, and cloves into the air. Bath and Body Works and Yankee Candle are two of the most popular candle companies, especially around the holiday season. Are there candles actually safe? What are you actually smelling/inhaling when you light those candles? Can they be harmful to your long term health?
Underneath the amazing smell, are toxic chemicals that are just as dangerous as second hand smoke. According to Wellness Mama, most candles are made of paraffin wax, which creates highly toxic benzene and toluene when burned (both are known carcinogens). In combination with the possible heavy metals like led in the wicks, even a few hours of burning them can create levels of airborne heavy metals and toxic fumes that are much higher than the acceptable limits.
According to Green America, other toxic chemicals may be present in the paraffin mixture and released in during the burning. These ingredients include Acetone, Trichlorofluromethane, Carbon Disulfide, 2-Butanone, Trichloroethane, Carbon Tetrachloride, Cyclopentene, Stryene, Synthetic Fragrances, and other ingredients that can found in paint, laquer, and varnish removers. Do you really want to be inhaling all of these ingredients?
Since, this is an environmentalism blog I would also like to talk about the impact that these candles have on our planet. According to the Postconsumers’ website normal candles can produce a number of harmful byproducts when burned (including greenhouse gasses like carbon dioxide). As an added bonus, the petroleum found in many candles is the same chemical that is found in your car. Not to mention the chemicals that haven’t been widely researched for their environmental impact. All of this research has resulted in me starting to find more eco-friendly alternative.
Thanks to Etsy, there are a ton of small businesses committed to making natural, sometimes vegan, and amazing candles. Instead of using paraffin wax and synthetic fragrances among the other toxic chemicals; these candles are only made out the simple ingredients of soy or beeswax and essential oils for smell, health, and mood.
Thanks to Kate from the Etsy shop DecorbyAdorned, her candles are natural soy candles are handmade in Minnesota, and are made with the best essential oils. Kate uses essential oils from Plant Therapy, to ensure that her candles are 100% pure. The awesome doesn’t stop there. She goes as far as to package everything in paper, using packing paper to ensure that the glass jar doesn’t break during travel. I am currently trying the Clove, Cinnamon, and Nutmeg candle, I have to say that it smells like Fall in a little jar and will definitely be repurchasing!!!!
Kate hopes to expand her shop to include natural fabrics, blankets, and even maybe some pottery. She is committed to everything being eco-friendly, and shares her passion for the environment.
Check back each week for more posts on small etsy shops and how committed to the zero waste lifestyle!!!! Don't forget to continue Zeroing In On Your Impact!!!