Candles, air fresheners, plug ins, anything that is made with artificial or synthetic fragrance is very very very bad. There is a lot of evidence that artificial fragrances are related to a lot of problems including headaches, nausea and prepare yourself....birth defects.
Let me explain. Artificial fragrances are made up of phthalates. Phthalates are actually chemicals that are used when scientists are working with plastics and chemicals. WHAT?!? This stuff is in my favorite candle!!
Phthalates "are present in every synthetic fragrance and are linked to a variety of serious health disorders, including severe allergies, asthma and even cancer. Phthalates give off volatile organic compounds, known as VOC's, which are also found in vapors emitted from products like toxic solvents, wood preservatives, pain strippers and dry-cleaning chemicals (Green Babies Sages Moms, Lynda Fassa pg 53). There are also studies linking the phthalates to childhood obesity.
Lynda's book goes much more into detail about VOC's....basically....THEY ARE BAD!!!!!
Phthalates are found in many items like, hair spray, deodorant, nail polish and perfume.
Here is the kicker....this is what REALLY caught my attention. When it comes to our kids...."in the medical journal Environmental Health Perspectives researchers found a link between premature breast development in young girls (under the age of 9) and phthalates in the bloodstream......The phthalates we have identified have been classified as endocrine disruptor's." Which would explain why our girls keep developing at an earlier and earlier stage of life.
"A study by the Harvard University School of Public Health found a link between sperm damage and monoethyl phthalate, a compound used to maintain the color and scent in many cosmetic items such as perfumes, colognes and hair spray." Which explains why infertility seems to be on the rise.
Remember, when we look at the labels to find the word phthalate....we won't find it. Makers of such products are not required to disclose this info. Go to www.nottoopretty.com for a list of cosmetics and fragrances and a system that grades the toxicity levels.
Lynda gives a list of some clean and healthy alternatives that will still make you smell all so pretty.
www.kuumbamade.com (I have bought these at Whole Foods and they smell great. Don't buy any musk scents. They are made with synthetic fragrances.)
Revlon and L'Oreal have some phthalate-free products
The Body Shop
Essential oils are the best (Organic essentials oils are the very best)
See my deodorant post for the 2 deodorants I use that are phthalate free (the crystal and Tom's of Maine). Lynda also suggests the Green Salt Stick, Desert Essence and Weleda for your deodorant choices. I bought my Tom's of Main Deodorant at Wal-Mart south. (See Deodorant post for more in depth info.)
Plus, I have always heard that the aluminum in the anti-perspirant of deodorant is very bad. Researchers are trying to tie aluminum in anti-perspirant deodorant to breast cancer.
Now for the candles and air fresheners.
Candles-metal wicks....very bad. Some wicks have a lead core, which when burning is very dangerous (obviously, lead should not be in the air we are breathing). The fragrance, if synthetic will be filling your home, office wherever you are with phthalates! The wax in the candles is made of paraffin which is made from petroleum which releases carcinogenic toxins into the air you and your family are breathing.
"Experts from the American Lung Association say that candles are fast becoming one of the most common unrecognized causes of poor indoor-air quality." "According to Jerome O Nriagu, PhD, a professor of environmental chemistry at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, burning as little as four metal-wick candles for two hours can result in airborne lead concentrations that pose a distinct and direct threat to human health." NOT GOOD!!
What can you buy???
Beeswax candles- (make sure it is 100% beeswax) Whole Foods sells a rockin brand called tru melange www.trumelange.com which are scented with 100% pure essential oils and made in the USA. Another clean line of good beeswax candles is from Bluecorn Naturals candles. www.beeswaxcandles.com
Diffuser-you can buy a good diffuser for $20.00 and then buy your essential oils to use with the diffuser. I have one in my bathroom and I love it for smaller rooms.
Nebulizer-I bought a nebulizer with my birthday money online and I buy my essential oils at Whole Foods (the nebulizer was pricey.) Right now I have spearrmint in mine. Yummy!
I am pretty passionate about this one....especially when it comes to my 2 boys and their health.
In a nut shell......essential oils are the best in everything you buy....organic essential oils are the very very best!!!!! Stay away from synthetic and artificial fragrances (which is most of the things we buy everyday). No aerosol sprays. I would rather you and your house stink than harm you and your children's health. Just being honest.