I love burning a nice smelling candle in my home almost every night. I never thought until recently are there toxins in what I am burning in my home?? That led me to a little research online and YES there are toxins in the candles I was burning.
So, what’s wrong with my candles?
According to a recent study by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), 40 percent of candles on the market contain lead wires inside their wicks. Most often, the candles with lead wicks are scented candles. Fragrance oils soften the wax, so the manufacturers use lead to make the wicks firmer.
A candle with a lead-core wick releases five times the amount of lead considered hazardous for children and exceeds EPA pollution standards for outdoor air, says the CPSC. Exposure to high amounts of lead has been linked to hormone disruption, behavioral problems, learning disabilities, and numerous health problems.
So what can we do with all of that?? First of all, ensure that any new candles you purchase don’t have lead in the wicks. Look for a “lead free” label, or perform the “No-Lead Test”.
- Look for a “lead-free” label when shopping for new candles.
- For unburnt candles, rub the tip of the wick on a piece of paper. If it leaves a gray mark, like a pencil, the wick contains a lead core. If you’ve already purchased the candle, take it back to the store and tell the manager why you’re demanding a refund.
- For candles that have already been burned, you should just throw out any that have metal cores as a precaution. Simply look at the tip of the wick and see if it has a metal core. If you still can’t tell, peel back some of the cotton.
Now if my candles are bad, what else can I do to “naturally” freshen my home??
- Keep the odors down in your household. Keep trash cans emptied, throw diapers outside in the trash, wipe up and disinfect “smelly” areas, and keep pet smells under wraps.
- Give your household a good old fashioned open window policy. Nothing is better than fresh air flowing through your household.
- If your kitchen is smelly from cooking fish say…..boil some vinegar on the stove or in your microwave. It will take away the smell.
- Set a pot on your stove with water and some spices and simmer for a few hours. I like to do cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Or use vanilla or almond extract. You can boil cut up oranges and lemons as well. Experiment with different spices to give a great quick scent. Be sure to keep the water level in your pan as to not burn it.
- A few drops of essential oils dropped in different areas helps with scent controls. Or you can mix it with some water and alcohol in a spray bottle and in the air.
You want to avoid all the “heavy-strong” smelling factory made air fresheners. Most all contain carcinogens. Look at part 2 of this series for links to the Cancer Prevention Coalition website that lists many products that contain these harmful substances. They cause many harmful side effects as well. Even though they smell so great, you want to avoid all those chemical laden product, for the safety of your children and yourself.
Look for part 19…how to repel bugs naturally