How toxic are the candles that you burn in your home

How toxic are the candles that you burn in your home

You can find scented candles in just about every home, and for some people in every room. Scented candles are a part of most people’s everyday life. They have become a multi-billion dollar business worldwide. However, under the beautiful packaging and the nice scent are a number of toxic chemicals that are linked to some major health problems. So, why are so many people still using them? Simply put, scented candles are an easy way to mask odor that are readily available to buy.

When you start breaking a candle down, they are really just a huge source of air pollution that looks nice. Some of the chemicals that scented candles contain are considered to be at the danger levels of second-hand smoke. Most of the scented candles on the market are made from Paraffin, which is a waste product that comes from the petroleum industry. It is deodorized and bleached, before it is made into wax. When this wax is burned, it releases carcinogenic chemicals. These chemicals can also cause other respiratory issues, and are the same ones that are found in diesel fuel fumes.

Soy based waxes have become popular in the last few years, as they burn longer and seem to be more eco-friendly. The problem is that many of the soy based waxes are made from GMO soy. GMO soy is not a problem for some people, but if you prefer to be GMO free, check with the company.

In 2009, researchers at the South Carolina State University tested both the paraffin candles and vegetable-based candles that were non-scented, not pigmented and free of any dyes. The report found that the vegetable-based candles did not create any potentially harmful pollutants. However, the paraffin candles were releasing unwanted chemicals into the air.

In the United States, candle wicks are only being made from cotton or paper. However, there are a handful of candles on the market that contain lead and other heavy metals in their wicks. They make up about 30% of the scented candles. If you were to burn one of these candles with heavy metals in the wick, the amount of heavy metal in the air would be much higher than the acceptable limits. Lead can cause damage to the central nervous system, along with respiratory issues.

Have you ever wondered about how the scent is created in a scented candle? For most fragrant candles, it is with artificial scents. Many companies also use artificial dyes to color the wax of scented candles. These both have huge amounts of chemicals that are released into the air once the candle is lit. There are many, different chemicals that go into making these artificial colors and scents, so there is really no way of knowing exactly what chemicals are being released into the air. Many of these chemicals can trigger allergic reactions. Anne Steinemann, an environmental pollutant expert from the University of Melbourne, has found toxins like benzene and toluene in scented candles. These chemicals do not just damage the lungs, they also cause damage to the brain and the central nervous system. Developmental difficulties have also been linked to these chemicals.

These are the three main components in the candle making process. However, there are thousands more chemicals that you can find used in paraffin candles. Some of the chemicals are Acetone, Carbon Disulfide, Carbon Tetrachloride, Tetrachloroethene, Xylene, Cresol, and Phenol. These chemicals are regularly found in paint thinners, paint, varnish removers, and lacquer. Nearly all the products that these chemicals are found in require you to wear a breathing mask when you are using them. These chemicals are powerful and dangerous. They can cause allergic reactions, breathing problems, and some are even carcinogenic.

If you still want to have scented candles in your home, there are some candles that you should out right avoid, and some that are your best option.
When you are looking to buy candles, avoid the dollar store or super cheap candles. Most times, they will use cheap materials to make the candles, which equals more toxins. They may also be imported, so they don’t have to adhere to the strict guidelines that North American candles have to follow. Gel candles should also be avoided like scented candles. They may look nice; however, there are extra chemicals added to keep them in that jelly state. Febreeze, Glade, and other cheap aromatherapy candles should also be avoided. To be truthful, there is nothing therapeutic about the scents these companies use and they are some of the worst producers of the artificial scents.

If you still like scented candles, and are going to shop at a major retailer, pick higher end candles. These higher end candles are less likely to use heavy metal in the wicks and have synthetic scents. Make sure to check closely since some high-end candles still use synthetic scents. Taper candles are another option to think about, as they are less likely to contain lead, next to tea lights.

The best options for candles are beeswax and soy candles. Beeswax are pricey; however, they are the healthier option of the two. Beeswax is created by bees, and is collected by beekeepers. Beeswax has a natural scent of honey, which is very light. Most of the beeswax candles are scented with essentials oils, which nearly all are safe to burn. The most common colors of beeswax candles are normally off white, light brown, and yellow. However, non-toxic dyes can be used to dye the candle to the same bright colours that are found in major stores.
When you want to buy a beeswax candle, you should look for one that is labeled 100% beeswax. Some brands will label their candles ‘beeswax candle’ and still have paraffin in them. This is allowed as long as there is beeswax in the candle, or you can simply make your own. There are many guides online to show you how to make your own candles. You can also buy beeswax sheets online, but your local bee farmer may have beeswax sheets for sale. Beeswax candles come in all shapes and sizes, if you are willing to look for them.
Beeswax candles also have the benefit of emitting negative ions. Negative ions are great since they reduce the amount of charged ions in the air. Positive ions or charged ions are made by other scented candles, electrical devices, heating and cooling systems, and even walking across a carpet. While the ions themselves are not damaging, they can carry dust, pollen, and mold. When negative ions are added to a room, they bind to the positive ions and are not floating in the air as they are too heavy to stay airborne.

Soy candles are a great option,soy candles burn for a really long time, and don’t have any harmful fumes. Like beeswax, soy candles can be found in just about every color and natural scent out there. However, soy candles are easier to find and are much cheaper than beeswax candles. You will need to look for a 100% soy label as well, as some makers will add paraffin to the mix to lower the price of the product. There are also soy wax candle making kits and guides available online.
There are also blended beeswax and soy candles on the market. These candles use a mixture of both beeswax and soy wax to make the candle. These candles have benefits from both ingredients and come in a wide of variety of colors and shapes. You need to make sure that the only waxes the company uses are beeswax and soy, since some candle makers will try to sneak Paraffin into their candles.

Toxic scented candles that are available in just about every store and home do not look they are going to be removed from the market any time soon. The candle market has grown into a mutli-billion dollar industry in the past few years. Making the switch to beeswax or soy candles is the best option for you and your family’s health. You just need to check the ingredient list to make sure that you are buying pure products. There many online shops to pick from, and most areas have at least one candle maker that may use one of the pure waxes. If you feel creative, you can also learn how to make your own pure candles.

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Keeping Children Healthy Even When Your Schedule Is Hectic

Keeping Children Healthy Even When Your Schedule Is Hectic

When it comes to parenting, it can often like there are a million tasks to take care and not enough hours in the day to make sure they’re all done. One of these tasks is your children’s health, and in between everything else, it’s no wonder that this is one of the things that is left by the wayside. After all, children get enough exercise when they’re running around at school, don’t they? Wrong. No matter how hectic your lifestyle is, it’s up to you to ensure your child’s health is in tip-top condition. Here’s how.



Eating Well

Everything begins in the kitchen, with what your children eat. When you’ve got no time, and everyone needs to be fed, it’s tempting to throw together anything that can be considered ‘food’ and be done with it. But poor health often stems from what we eat, and we should go to extra lengths to ensure that everyone is being fed properly. There are delicious, healthy meals that are cheap and which can be put together in no time at all. Also, make sure you’re giving them healthy snacks rather than chocolate and other sugary substances!

Evening Games

You’re not busy all the time. It’s mostly during the day. In the evenings, you probably have time where you can have a bit of downtime and spend some time with the children. Unfortunately, it’s usually dark outside by that time, so you can’t get active. Or can you? If you invest in a Wii console or something similar that enables the family to have fun and stay active at the same time, you’ll be giving everyone a little extra boost of movement, which can help keep them fit and healthy.

Preventative Measures

It’s not easy when our child falls ill. We might have to take them to the doctor or take time off work to nurse them back to health from home. Neither of these is welcome when you’ve got plenty of other tasks you should be taking care of, so it’s important that you have the right preventative measures in place. For example, make sure all your children know the hygiene practices, such as washing their hands regularly. Using your smartphone or computer to talk with an online Dr can also save a trip to the hospital, without compromising the health of your children. Finally, don’t underestimate daily vitamins: they can make the difference between falling ill and staying healthy.  

Weekend Activities

When it comes to the weekend, try to fit in some family activities. If you can’t spare the time yourself, then find a community sports team for your child to get involved with. They’ll be getting their extra dose of exercise, and you’ll also have some time to yourself to get all the other details taken care of. It’s a win-win!

Setting the Example

Finally, make sure you’re setting a good health example to your children. Children learn all about this stuff intuitively from what they see in their home. If you’re staying healthy, they’ll stay healthy in the long run too!

Power Boosters For Kids (That Aren’t Energy Drinks)

Power Boosters For Kids (That Aren’t Energy Drinks)





It’s a big concern, the health of our kids. For those whose kids are constantly consuming peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and soda, the concern about getting diabetes is real. The issue is that our kids are growing, so we need to make sure we nourish them properly and give them food that promotes energy. It’s a big habit of children to turn to energy drinks now, and the excessive amounts of caffeine as well as artificial sweeteners and sugars that put their body under a massive amount of adrenal stress. While a bit of caffeine is good for you, encouraging your children to drink a huge amount of coffee every day doesn’t do them any favors! In looking for natural health boosters for children, here is what I have found.


A very simple hit of sugar, dates give children the energy they need but also the sweetness they crave. As well as an energy hit, they are very high in fiber. You can find many natural food bars that use dates as their base, but you can easily make your own. Make a breakfast bar for your kids that don’t have heaps of sugar. A tasty recipe I make uses Medjool dates, goji berries, organic maca (for a bit more energy), organic oats, as well as seeds like pumpkin and flaxseed. All you do is boil the dates down into a puree and mix the ingredients in before placing in a baking tray and baking for 30 minutes on a medium to high heat. Break them into flapjack sized portions, and you’ve got a healthy snack that lasts all week!

Healthy Fats

The benefits of healthy fats in organic nut butters such as almond butter or cashew butter don’t need explaining here, but it can certainly be a great tool in giving your child more energy as well as more brainpower. Fat bombs are making the rounds at the moment, and you can make a fat bomb using a few simple ingredients. You can make an alternative to the unhealthy peanut butter cup by using organic peanut butter, coconut oil, cocoa or dark chocolate and a natural sweetener like Stevia before mixing it all together, placing the mixture into molds and placing them in the freezer to harden up. They don’t take long to freeze, and when your child needs a snack, throw one of these at them!

A Hit Of Protein

They’re growing boys and girls so they may need a lot more sustenance. Increase their protein intake and see if it makes a difference, you can purchase energy balls. But you can easily make your own with a mix of chia seeds (or whatever seeds you like) and pecans with some raisins and a bit of nut butter to bind them, and sprinkle with coconut shards to make a really tasty, filling, and protein-packed snack.

It’s always worth remembering that if they are burning the candle at both ends with studying and sport or other activities, they could do with a bit more sleep. But if they’re sleeping plenty, fill them up with goodness!


Beware Of The Unicorn, Why You Might Not Want Your Kids To Drink The Latest Craze

Beware Of The Unicorn, Why You Might Not Want Your Kids To Drink The Latest Craze

It seems lately on every social media site there is a photo of someone drinking the new Unicorn Frappuccino. Either they really don’t know what’s in them or they really don’t care.  If you do care what your children drink you will want to know this. I’m glad this drink is only for a limited time, not that I think the other drinks they serve are healthy.  I know that I won’t buy it but to each their own.  For starters, it contains 1 1/2 times the amount of sugar that is recommended a day .

Here are the nutrition facts straight from Starbucks menu.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving

(16 fl oz) Calories 410 Calories from Fat 140% Daily Value

*Total Fat 16g 25%

Saturated Fat 10g 50%

Trans Fat 0g 

Cholesterol 45mg 15%

 Sodium 230mg  10%

Total Carbohydrate 62g 21%

Dietary Fiber 0g 0% Sugars 59g  Protein 5g

Vitamin A 15%  Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 20% Iron 0%


Ice, Milk, Crème Frappuccino Syrup [Water, Sugar, Salt, Natural And Artificial Flavor, Xanthan Gum, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid], Whipped Cream [Cream (Cream, Mono And Diglycerides, Carageenan), Vanilla Syrup (Sugar, Water, Natural Flavors, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid)], Mango Syrup [Sugar, Water, Mango Juice Concentrate, Natural Flavor, Passion Fruit Juice Concentrate, Citric Acid, Potassium Sorbate, Turmeric, Gum Arabic], Blue Drizzle [White Chocolate Mocha Sauce (Sugar, Condensed Skim Milk, Coconut Oil, Cocoa Butter, Natural Flavor, Salt, Potassium Sorbate, Monoglycerides), Classic Syrup (Sugar, Water, Natural Flavors, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid), Sour Blue Powder (Citric Acid, Color [Spirulina, Water, Sugar, Maltodextrin, Citric Acid])], Pink Powder [Dextrose, Fruit And Vegetable Color (Apple, Cherry, Radish, Sweet Potato)], Sour Blue Powder [Citric Acid, Color (Spirulina, Water, Sugar, Maltodextrin, Citric Acid)].

Caffeine 0mg***Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.**Each caffeine value is an approximate value.


Just by looking at it you can imagine the amount of sugar and fat that’s in it without even seeing the ingredients first.  From what I heard it’s a huge sugar rush.  Let me know what you think, have you tried it or would you?



Photo source: newsmax

Kid Friendly Healthy Home Infographic

Kid Friendly Healthy Home Infographic

Overwhelmed by all the potential dangers of indoor chemical and air pollutants? If creating a safe, organic environment for your kid seems overwhelming at times, you’ll appreciate this simple infographic approach to eliminating four of the top chemical threats in your home and improving indoor air quality. This cute graphic also gives you clear-cut solutions to eliminate BPA plastics, toxic cleaning products, and unhealthy hand soaps from your home and offers advice on keeping your indoor air fresh.

Many people are not yet aware of the risks associated with plastic. Hard plastics that contain BPA can be a source of brain and behavior issues in infants and young children, among other health issues. The infographic gives clear information about which plastics you need to avoid and what to look for instead. There’s also a clear, concise list of home cleaning chemicals to avoid and some organic alternatives. When it comes to healthy indoor air, it’s better to skip the chemical air fresheners and focus on solutions like replacing your HVAC filters instead. Replace fragrance-laden or antibacterial soaps with simple hand soap and teach your kids to wash for 20 seconds at a time to prevent illness.

As a parent who values organic living, you already know that a chemical-free home will help protect your children from toxins and allergens. But it’s easy to be confused by conflicting advice and complex analyses of household chemicals. That’s why this simple graphic that focuses on easy solutions is such a welcome approach. 


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The Dangers of Dental Sealants

The Dangers of Dental Sealants

I just read an article saying that dental sealants are dangerous. This was an eye opener considering I just had sealants put on my son’s 6 year molars. After reading the article, I called the dentist and asked if they can be removed and told them why. Of course,I was told that they never heard of this. They are supposed to call me back to let me know if they can remove them. Sealants contain BPA. The same chemical that was once in baby bottles and was removed. Recent studies have further detailed the health impact of this substance, reported on at News Inferno:

The latest research, the first large BPA study in humans, published last month by the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), found a “significant relationship” between exposure to the ubiquitous estrogenic chemical and heart disease, diabetes, and liver problems. Long-standing research points to hormonal disturbances and a variety of cancers and neurological and behavioral problems in adults and children. Also, the National Toxicology Program, part of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), has raised concerns about BPA. Of particular concern is childhood exposure BPA that leaches from polycarbonate baby bottles and the linings of infant formula cans. The 2003-4 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found detectable levels of BPA in 93 percent of urine samples collected from more than 2,500 adults and children over the age of six. BPA may accelerate puberty and raise a potential risk of cancer and, this month, the journal Environmental Health Perspectives reported that BPA might interfere with chemotherapy treatment.”

I can’t believe that dentists are using a chemical like this in sealants. I know to avoid fluoride but I didn’t know anything about sealants. If you or your child has these sealants I would encourage you to call your dentist to see if they can be removed. I was told that sealants wear off after a while and would need to be put on again. If they wear off that means that your are swallowing the substance. This is scary considering what the effects can be.


BPA information source