Chances are that you have at least one or two scented candles in your house. They are great for creating calming and relaxing atmospheres, and the scent that they emit can either provide you with a pleasant smell or can help cover up unpleasant ones.
However, despite their aesthetic and aromatic benefits, these candles are the reason behind several health problems that many people experience when using them, most of the time without even realizing it!
What Makes Scented Candles Toxic
The reason why scented candles are a health risk is because of what their made of combined with the nature of the candle itself. This is because these scented candles contain many ingredients that are harmless within a solid state but dangerous when exposed to heat. When these chemicals that make up the candle are exposed to heat they turn into vapor which we eventually inhale. This can lead to a variety of respiratory and other problems.
Paraffin wax is a white, odorless petroleum by-product and is the most commonly used wax for candle making. It has come under a lot of scrutiny recently, as many claim that it is the cause of a variety of health problems related to scented candles.
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Scented candles are also believed to deposit mores soot into the air compared to non-scented candles, soot which contains benzene, a cancer causing agent, and toluene, which effects the central nervous system.
Symptoms of Exposure to Scented Candle Vapor
Although these vapors mostly effect the respiratory system, exposure to them can cause a variety of problems, here are some of the side-effects associated with scented candles:
- Irritation of the respiratory tract
- Inflammation of the lungs
- Irritation of the eyes
- Chronic coughing
- Shortness of breath
Beeswax Candles: A Healthy Alternative
Beeswax candles are candles made from, you guessed it, beeswax. This means that these candles are all natural and chemical-free, as well as the vapor that is emitted from them. This makes them a great alternative to scented candles as they do not provide the same unpleasant side effects and are naturally scented by the honey and nectar in the honey comb.
Beeswax has a very high melting point, meaning that less vapors are emitted during it’s use and that the candle lasts longer! Beeswax is also hypoallergenic, meaning it won’t irritate the respiratory of system of those with allergies and asthma, unlike scented candles which tend to seriously irritate those with chronic breathing problems.
Although beeswax candles are a wonderful alternative to scented candles, most people tend not to regularly use them due to their high price. So, to save you a few bucks, I found an amazing recipe from The Prairie Homestead on how to make homemade beeswax candles.
- Glass jars
- Metal can (One time use)
- Pencils or dowels (or any thin stick-like object)
- Put beeswax into your metal can and place the can into a pot that is halfway-filled with water.
- Place it over a medium-high heat and let it simmer, stirring occasionally.
- While you are waiting for the beeswax to melt, it is time to prepare your jars and wicks
- Place a pencil or dowel across your glass jar and wrap about half the wick around it, allowing the other half to reach the bottom of the jar
- Once the beeswax is melted, pour it into the jar, leaving about an inch of room at the top
- Allow to cool completely
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