’Tis the season to deck your halls with holiday scented candles and beauty products. Long lines to grab those candle deals are a must for so many this time of year. However, we gave up candles after we learned about what’s actually in them and what they do to our bodies.
Our endocrine systems keep our bodies in balance and guide proper growth and development. Endocrine disruptors do just that - they disrupt the balance of our bodies, leading to a long list of health issues [NIEHS],
- Mimic naturally occurring hormones in the body (both male and female hormones) [NIEHS]
- Bind to receptors in our cells and block naturally occurring hormones in our bodies from binding to those receptors [NIEHS]
- Decrease or increase natural hormone levels, mimic natural hormones, and change our bodies natural production of hormones [NIEHS]
- Linked to developmental, reproductive, neural, immune and other issues in both animal and humans. Also linked to reduced fertility, increased occurrences or progression of diseases, including obesity, diabetes, endometriosis, and some cancers. [NIEHS]
Scented candles often include phthalates, which help spread fragrance in the air. This endocrine disruptor, found in other “fragrance” filled items, do all of the above to our bodies. Also, the paraffin wax in candles is a petroleum waste product that produces black soot, which goes right into our lungs and wrecks havoc on them. Even though the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency states most U.S. manufacturers have “said” they won’t use wicks made with lead, they aren’t required to do so. Also, imported candles have different standards and may include lead. Lead exposure is a threat when lighting these candles in your home. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, side effects of lead poisoning include hypertension, depression, kidney disease, anxiety, irritability, learning difficulties, problems with concentration, and many more. (Do any of these sound familiar?) Both lead and phthalates are listed in the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen list of 12 hormone-altering chemicals to avoid.
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