Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Danger of scented candles..

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Scented candles sometimes used for aromatherapy can cause serious health problems. The chief culprits are candles with wicks made with metal cores-these candles emit lead.
Some candle makers use metal-core wicks because cotton wicks are often limp and fall over into the wax. Lead poisoning can lead to behavior changes and damage internal organs, especially the kidneys. Burning for metal -wick candles for 2 hours can result in airborne lead concentrations that pose a threat to human health. People with weak immune systems, including children and elderly, are particularly at risk...Take this advice:
  • Watch out for shiny metal wire inside the wicks of candles. Opt for pure paper cotton instead.
  • Keep wicks trimmed to one-quarter inch for more complete combustion, and keep candles out of drafts. Windiness blows more toxins into the air and causes inefficient burning.
  • Watch out for slow-burning candles with additives (these candles often feel greasy to the touch). Instead, look for pure beeswax candles, which emit less pollution.
  • For aromatherapy, put a few drops of scented oil in a defuser-a tray made to fit on light bulb. Or u can put the drops into some boiling water.
  • Don't use candles in jars when the candle leaves a soot ring on the jar's lip. The soot may be an indication of lead dust.
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2 comments:

CraftyDragon said...

There is some great information here! I just wanted to add a couple things I've learned since I'm a candle maker.

Lead wicks: Wicks containing lead are no longer made in the US. There are other metal core wicks available that do NOT contain lead. The only safety concern I've heard with these non-lead wicks is a potential hazard for birds. The way to tell if your wick has lead is to try to mark a piece of paper with it. If it leaves a mark then it's lead. If not, then it's safe.

There are other options for cored wicks that do not contain any metal. I use cotton core wicks and there are also hemp and paper core.

Jar candles: Jar candles often leave soot in the jar. This can be caused by a badly made candle or more often it's because the wick has not been kept trimmed. Check the wick against paper before burning to see if it's lead.

Also, soot is created when candles are blown out instead of snuffing or dipping the wick.

Sorry about the really long comment, but I thought your readers might like the extra information.

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