By Ashley Husbands—
Have you ever wanted fresh air in your apartment or house but didn’t want to let out all of the air conditioned or heated air you just spent the last of your paycheck on last week? Maybe you have terrible allergies or asthma and can’t stand to let in the allergen filled air despite the fact that the air in your home is stuffy or irritating your body. Many times the air supply in our homes is polluted due to chemicals in our air fresheners, the nastiness we bring in from the outside on our shoes and clothes, the pollutants and dander that our furry friends bring in on their backs, or even our mainstream candles. How can we purify our air without polluting it or letting out the expensive air? The answer is beeswax candles.
Most candles we burn in our homes, despite their amazing smell, are terrible for us. Many facts having to do with candles sold in the United States can be found in a document done by the United States Environmental Protection Agency that was prepared for the Office of Research and Development called “Candles and Incense as Potential Sources of Indoor Air Pollution: Market Analysis and Literature Review” which can be found here. According to this document, many candles sold in the U.S. contain lead core wicks, when these are burned they release concentrations of lead, which are above EPA-recommended thresholds. Although the practice of using lead in candle wicks was voluntarily halted by United States manufacturers in 1974, there are still imported candles sold in places here which contain lead in the wick. Lead inhalation can cause side effects including difficulty concentrating, memory loss, lethargy, and difficulty breathing and increased problems with asthma among other problems.
Another reason mainstream candles should be avoided is because most are made with Paraffin wax. According to www.totalhealthmagazine.com, paraffin candles “are made from petroleum; a source of known human carcinogens and indoor pollution.” The soot emitted from these candles is also harmful to your lungs over time as it accumulates. The article advises us to “watch out for slow burning candles with additives. (These candles often feel greasy to the touch.) Instead, look for pure beeswax or soy candles.”
After reading this you may be wondering why this article is about burning a candle to help purify the air when I have just finished warning you of the dangers of most candles. The reason is that the candles I am about to tell you about are not ordinary or harmful to you, they can actually help you. Beeswax candles are known for their purifying properties. Most harmful things in our, air, dirt, dust, allergens, toxins, and other pollutants, are charged with positive ions which is how they are held in the air. Beeswax, when burned, releases negative ions. When the two charges meet in the air they neutralize, causing the pollutants to fall to the ground where they can then the wiped off of surfaces or cleaned from your floors if you choose, either way the air you are breathing is purified. Many people have claimed to have felt relief from asthmatic symptoms or allergies in their home after using these candles. According to a researcher used in the article for Total Health Magazine above, Dr. Amid Hamidi, “some people who believe they have an indoor allergy or respiratory irritation may actually be reacting to pollutants from burning candles.”
When I tried using these candles I decided to do so because of my allergy-induced asthma. My asthma is not nearly as bad as most but it still affects my sensitivity to allergies certain times of year. I like to freshen the air in my house frequently, but many times it is too cold or too hot in Texas to open the windows without watching dollar bills fly out the window as the fresh air flies in, or the allergen content in the air irritates me. Also, I have several cats, all who love to roll around in the grass and dirt before coming into the house and exposing the inside air to what they rolled in. What does all of this mean? I needed a solution to have fresh air without opening the windows or shaving my cats bald, so I tried beeswax candles. The air in my room is now noticeably fresher to breathe and my allergies are barely noticeable in my house if at all. When my family members come into town, who are mostly allergic to cats, it used to present a problem. Now, I just light some beeswax candles several hours before they arrive, vacuum the carpet, and my family is able to come to my house without sneezing every few seconds.
Next time you are thinking of buying candles for your home, consider beeswax candles; your body, lungs, and air in your home will thank you. Beeswax candles can be found for sale online or in most health food stores. Surprisingly, I have found health food stores generally to be the cheaper place to buy them, but look for yourself to find what the best deal is to fit your budget. It is important to note while looking at prices of beeswax candles in comparison to normal candles that beeswax candles have a significantly longer burning time than most candles and will last you much longer than the average candle. Be sure to look for candles that are 100% pure beeswax, as those are the healthiest.
Let me know what you think on twitter @TSULivingWell #beeswax. Feel free to email me with any questions or ideas for future articles at firstname.lastname@example.org. Have a wonderful week full of pure air!