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The dangers of scented candles and air fresheners

deRosaVicky101711_optBY VICKY DeROSA
COMMENTARY

Are you unknowingly polluting the air in your home? Do your children suffer with asthma or allergies? Anything bizarre going on with respiratory issues in your home? What I mean by that is, have you gone to a physician, especially an allergist; and they cannot get to the bottom of your congestion?

It has been a very, very long time since I have burned scented candles. It has also been a very long time since I have used air fresheners. Just last week I was at a wonderful family gathering having great fun with family members. Within two to three hours of being at this event I began to have trouble breathing.

Now I think I’m pretty sharp but quite frankly folks it took a little while for me to realize what the culprit was. Of course a few more hours later whereby I began to sneeze and cough. Frankly, it’s as bad as it sounds folks, I was not doing well.

All of a sudden a light bulb went off and in a Sherlock Holmes moment, as I walked around this home I realized there were two scented candles lit and had been all day. Additionally, I began to notice air fresheners plugged in to the walls.

“Scented candles and air fresheners emit VOCs, or volatile organic compounds, which are chemicals that form a gas or vapor at room temperature. The VOCs present in air fresheners often include formaldehyde, petroleum distillates, limonene, alcohol and esters”, states Dr. Stanley Fineman, an allergist from Atlanta, GA. Lest you think I make this stuff up folks!

Actually it is much worse than you might think. Since this unfortunate event in my life last week I did quite a bit of research on scented candles and air fresheners. The stories I found are quite scary. In fact so many of the stories led me to believe that if you are one of those individuals who adores the smell of scented candles and enjoys them often, you may want to check lead levels in your home; especially if you have small children.

Now years ago the industry was forced to change from lead in the wicks to zinc. But, the question remains; is there still some amount of lead in the wicks? I’m not sure folks, I am certain that there are candle companies out there that would dispute that there are any harmful affects at all. My interest is to share my own personal experience with you. Quite frankly until my own experience last week, I had not considered the very real dangers of these sweet smelling items. I should also tell you it took me a couple of days to recover and breath normally.

So let me be emphatic about this, if you have young children, I should think you’d want to think twice about using scented candles.

Here’s more food for thought, with so many funky smells in the work place, many people tend to use plug in air fresheners. So from here on let’s reconsider and if you like your co-workers simply opt out of the plug in air fresheners!

As usual, in my effort not to be a “Debbie Downer” let me propose the following: there are many natural, glorious items you can utilize to freshen up your environment. For example, here is one of my favorite ways. In a small pot combine water, chopped apples, cinnamon sticks and cloves; bring to a boil than lower to a simmer. Oh and by the way, if you are in a work environment why not consider a little Vitamin C? Bring an orange or grapefruit with you to nosh on. Don’t dispose of the skins, place them in a bowl or even in your open trash can and let them sit for a few days. I promise they might actually freshen up your work environment.

Vicky DeRosa is Founder and CEO of Studio V Health Corp. For more information check out www.studiovhealth.com.

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Comments (1)
1 Monday, 01 October 2012 17:54
Paul Dringman
When lit,scented candles give me a HEADACHE! EVERYTIME.

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