Scented candles bring a warmth and lovely fragrance to our homes. But most candles are bring with them numerous toxins that can cause serious like asthma and skin irritations. Is there a way, then, to scent our homes to achieve a relaxing ambiance without compromising our health? Absolutely. In this post from Hayley, learn how to make your own homemade reed diffuser with essential oils!
“Few homes are without the wafting perfume of a scented candle from time to time. Most people light them to infuse a room with fragrance, to add a romantic ambiance to a meal and to make bathtimes more luxurious. But could the very candles used to soothe our mood actually be bad for us?
Research has shown most scented candles produce smoke laced with almost as many toxins as those produced by cigarettes. And since they are often lit in poorly ventilated rooms, such as bathrooms, or during the evening when windows are likely to be closed, the release of chemicals can cause indoor pollution that is potent enough to raise the risk of asthma, eczema and skin complaints.
Sales of scented candles have soared in recent years as they have come to represent the ultimate fulfilment of ‘me’ time. The majority are cheaply made from paraffin wax, a by-product of the petroleum industry. These have been shown to release an alarming range of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), substances that can be problematic to health.
It’s not just the candle wax that is potentially dangerous. Top-of-the-range candles are scented with natural perfumes or essential oils. But since they are costly and difficult to add in large quantities, many of the mass-market products contain synthetic fragrances and sometimes dyes that can give off harmful particles when they are heated.
Then there are the hazards of wicks. There are generally two varieties of wick: cored and non-cored. A non-cored wick, made from braided or twisted fibre, is considered the safest to burn, but can be limp and fall over in the wax, extinguishing a flame. Many candle makers use a cored wick, in which cotton is wrapped around a metal or paper core for support. And like anything that burns, once a candle is lit it produces soot, with particles that can remain suspended in the air for several hours.”