“My Home Sweet Home”

Tweenie’s Greenies:  Monday Edition

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It’s wintertime, the windows are all sealed up to ward off the cold air.  The kids and pets are inside more than ever and that means all their foul lovely smells are also trapped in the house as well.  Thank goodness I have recieved about 15 different types of scented candles over the course of the year.  (I love candles but seriously, girls do like other gifts besides scented candles and lotions.)  That will help mask the smell of wet dog, sweaty, poopy pants toddlers and a gassy hubby who’s eaten way too much chili during football season. 

Aaah, the lovely scent of Cinnamon Apple (a personal favorite) or Clementine Orange.  I am so thankful to catch a wift of those instead of “BO #5″Such an amazing gift, those lead laden poison candles.  WAIT!!  Poison candles???  That’s right, in case you didn’t know.  Burning candles in your home do emit some toxic little numbers that could harm your health. 

Look at the wicks of your candles.  Do they have metal in them?  Well, those wicks that contain metal may also contain lead.  So when you burn them in your home, you are sending airborn lead particles to your beloved family.  A U of M study showed that when 4 metal wick candles were burned for 2 hours in a typical sized room, the airborne lead concentration was high enough to pose a threat to human health.  Another test showed that in 3 hours of burning time, a metal wicked candle produced enough lead to pollute the air, that the daily lead limit for a typical 6 year old child was exceeded in 45 minutes.  Australia has even banned the sale of lead containing wicks in their country all together.  That was already in 1999.  Then National Candle Assoc. of the U.S. voluntarily stopped using lead containing wicks but not all candles sold in the U.S. are made in the U.S.  Do we see a pattern here with lead issues??

Another hazard is the toxins sent into the air when you burn candles with perfumes and coloring agents (dyes).  The scents and colors used are usually synthetic and may be toxic or irritating to you.  Especially if you are sensitive or allergic to other airborne particles or scents.

So, are you ready to dump all your candles?  Do you want to?  I really don’t.  I love my little wax pillars, so calming and inviting.  I will however, try to weed out the worst offenders and will definitely be more selective in purchasing any new candles.  Here’s what to look for when you shop for candles in the future:

1.) Buy candles that were manufactured in trusted countries. 

2.) Find out what the wick is made of.  If you can’t find out, don’t buy it.  All cotton and hemp wicks are considered to be safe.

3.) Avoid paraffin candles.  These usually contain the most harmful materials.  Choose candles made from all natural beeswax or soy wax. (And, keep watch for my new line of all natural earwax candles.  Anson impressed the ENT with an endless supply of high quality ear wax when he had his tubes put in last week.  Not only am I very proud to have a son who amazed a seasoned medical professional, but I also think that his bountiful ear wax could be put to good use.  I would hate to waste his talent.)

Don’t worry all my girlfriends!  Next time I put together a little gift bag for you, there will be no wax poison sticks.  There will be some pure soy candles of joy in there and maybe some wonderfully all natural scented lotions.  Because that seems to be all that girls like after all.