Dangers of Candles and Air Fresheners
Plug-ins, candles, and scented sprays are very popular these days, but investigators warn us that they can include a wide variety of harmful and dangerous chemicals and substances which cause damage to our bodies, interfere with our hormones and cause lifelong problems such as asthma.
Plug-in air fresheners produce a considerable amount of formaldehyde which is a known 'human carcinogen'. It is most closely linked with cancers of the nose and throat and at the very least, it
causes sore throats, coughs, scratchy eyes and nosebleeds.
And formaldehyde is not the only chemical to fear in air fresheners. Other basic ingredients include petroleum products and its derivatives. These ingredients have been linked to asthma in adults and children. Pregnant women who used air fresheners in their homes were significantly more likely to have babies that suffered from wheezing, lung infections and higher levels of diarrhea and earaches. And the mothers of these babies had more headaches and depression, all linked to the frequent use of air fresheners and fragrant sprays during pregnancy and early childhood.
Another common ingredient in air fresheners is phthalates. Phthalates can cause tissue damage and several different types of cancer. They are especially harmful to children and have been linked to birth defects and early breast development in girls AND boys (meaning they totally screws with our hormones)! Due to regulations, air fresheners containing phthalates do not have to be labeled to indicate the presence of phthalates.
"Phthalates are hormone-disrupting chemicals that can be particularly dangerous for young children and unborn babies. Exposure to phthalates can affect testosterone levels and lead to reproductive abnormalities, including abnormal genitalia and reduced sperm production. The State of California notes that five types of phthalates -- including one that we found in air freshener products -- are 'known to cause birth defects or reproductive harm.'"-- Natural Resources Defense Council
Manufacturers of air fresheners, candles and wax-based warmers are going to tell you that their products are safe. But did you know that just like phthalates, manufacturers are not required to even list all of the ingredients of the ‘fragrance’! For artificial and toxic scents all they are required to list is ‘fragrance’, never telling us, the consumer, what the actual ingredients of that ‘fragrance’ is. This is not just for plug-ins but for our cleaning products, hand soap, laundry detergent, deodorant, shampoo, etc. You get the point!
I found this on www.healthywyze.org: Febreeze and other air freshener’s work by attacking the receptors in the nose, and thus eliminating the sense of smell. This is how the new generation of air fresheners actually "freshen". The manufacturers are literally using chemical warfare to destroy their customer's sense of smell. That lack of smell is where the illusion of freshness comes from. The user only smells these air fresheners for about the first minute after they have been sprayed, and then the nose cannot smell most fragrances anymore. This is not a normal adjustment to odors. The chemical causes intentional damage to the mucous membrane, which is claimed to be temporary. However, no long-term studies have ever been done to test the effects of chronic exposure. It is important to remember that anything inhaled is immediately absorbed into the blood through the lungs relatively unchanged.
People remind me all the time, “Oh, I use an unscented product so I’m safe.” Not true!! Some manufactures use additional synthetic fragrances to cover up the smell of the product. So those “unscented” products may actually be worse for you. And as stated above, the manufacturers may just be tricking you and actually damaging your nasal cells.
Another thing that happens is that these toxic chemicals accumulate in your body over a period of years, so that your health problems are rarely attributed to them. People suffer from strange forms of cancer, or they might have some weird disease like chronic fatigue syndrome, and of course, there is the ever more popular "genetic disorders". Common chemical products are increasingly shown in studies to cause serious health problems, and it is impossible to test for truly long-term problems. These chemicals emitted from air fresheners (and other toxic products) accumulate in the fatty tissues over time, so the dangers increase as they build up inside a body. The presence of toxins inside fat can make weight loss difficult. Since the human body uses fat to store certain materials that are too toxic for it to process, breaking down the fat would mean releasing those toxins, so a body must resist its fat loss for self-defense. Thus, fat is sometimes the result of an immune system properly responding to a danger. (healthywyze.org)
What can you do?
Get rid of your plug-ins, candles, and wax-warmers. ALL OF THEM!! Being exposed to these harmful chemicals and artificial fragrances just once a week causes damage to your cells and DNA. These types of fragrances dispensers, including those pretty candles, have very low boiling points which mean they off-gas at room temperatures. So even if the products are just sitting on the counter and not being used they are still harming your body and cells. Throw them away! (I hate to dump all of this is the landfill, but don’t give it to your neighbor to harm them. We need to get rid of it.)
What should you use if you still want your house to smell good or if you need to eliminate unpleasant odors?
A great alternative to all of these harmful products is to use an essential oil diffuser. There are several different styles and types of diffusers to choose from. Go ahead a buy whatever you want, but reviews show that the Young Living diffusers last the longest and are the highest quality diffusers on the market. One of my personal favorites is the Young Living Dewdrop Diffuser. It has a calming ambient blue light that can be left on to create a nice ambiance or you can turn the light off. The diffuser runs for about 4 hours and will shut off by itself so you don’t have to worry about it at night or when you leave the house. It also functions as a humidifier covering about 300 sq. ft. (Don’t forget: Every diffuser purchased from Young Living comes with a 1 year warranty. If anything happens to your diffuser, call customer service and they will replace it.)
And of course you will need Essential Oils!! I only recommend Young Living Essential Oils. They are the highest quality oils on the market. There is nothing fake or synthetic about these essential oils. Young Living gives us that amazing and awesome Seed-To-Seal guarantee so we can rest peacefully knowing that we are not putting more harmful toxins into the air we breathe.
Written by Juliann Kesti.