Candles are a popular home accessory, often used to create a cozy atmosphere and add a pleasant fragrance to a room. They are an ambiance-inducing addition to healthy living, but that comes with a few negative effects that could sabotage one's health without them even knowing it. However, candles may pose some health concerns, particularly related to hormonal imbalances, endocrine disruptors, and estrogen dominance.
The scent of a candle comes with the silent threat of hormonal disruption.
Experts say the chemicals found in many popular fragrances can interfere with the body's hormone production and balance, leading to estrogen dominance. Studies show that exposure to some fragrance components can mimic the effects of estrogen and other hormones, leading to a host of health problems. Repeated exposure to aromatic candles and air fresheners is toxic to human health.
Candles, when made from paraffin wax, release toxins into the air when burned.
The toxins can take a toll on the endocrine, respiratory, and nervous systems. Endocrine disruptors mimic hormone activity in the body, leading to hormonal imbalances that can cause infertility or worse. Inhaling these toxins can also lead to respiratory problems and damage blood cells, according to the American Lung Association.
Moreover, the wicks of a candle can also be a source of exposure to toxic heavy metals like lead, cadmium, and zinc. These metals can cause anemia, headaches, weakness, and brain damage to the developing fetus. Lead exposure is a significant concern for pregnant women and children, and the Environmental Protection Agency advises minimizing the use of candles with lead-core wicks.
The emission of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) is also a growing concern with candles. VOCs and other air pollutants produce smog and can irritate the lungs. Some VOCs have been linked to cancer and can trigger asthma and other respiratory or endocrine system problems. Long-term inhalation of some VOCs can lead to liver and throat cancers, kidney failure, and even developmental disabilities.
Many popular candle brands use synthetic scents and paraffin wax that emit toxins into the air we breathe. A safer alternative is to use natural candles made with beeswax or soy. Alternatives like diffusing essential oils are available which are equally capable of setting a holistic atmosphere in a room without posing any negative health concerns.
- I suggest any of these starter bundles that come with a diffuser. They are a great way to begin using essential oils in your home because it is such a simple and easy swap!
It's up to us consumers to read labels and make informed decisions about what home accessories we use. I hope this article creates awareness about the negative effects of candles on our health, particularly the hormonal disruptions posed by endocrine disruptors, and it encourages you to make informed and health-conscious decisions when choosing your next scented candle.
- Helping people ditch their toxic products for more natural and plant-based products is what I do, so please don't hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions or leave a comment below. I'm happy to help!