"According to the EPA, however, the levels of indoor air pollutants are often 2 to 5 times higher than outdoor levels, and in some cases these levels can exceed 100 times that of outdoor levels of the same pollutants."- Mana, MD
This week we are tackling all things fragrance in our homes. You'll learn everything from the dangers of fragrance in candles, plug ins, room sprays, air fresheners and more.
Week Three: Home Fragrance
How to Read Product Labels
Common Dirty Ingredient Definitions
Fragrance- Combination of nearly 3000 fragrant chemical ingredients used to mask odor and add a pleasant scent; possible carcinogen, possible allergen.
Formaldehyde- released by Limonene, carcinogen with long term effects not evaluated.
Parrafin- a wax made from petroleum. When burned, the paraffin is thought to release carcinogenic soot which can aggravate a number of respiratory issues like asthma, as well as heart issues.
Artificial fragrances and petroleum based candles are making us and our pets sick. One of the reasons is from the release of phthalates.
A 2013 article in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives shows a strong (though not totally definitive) link between exposure to phthalates (chemicals that are found in air fresheners, candles and sometimes plastics) during pregnancy and the child's future risk of asthma.
Phthalates have been shown to disrupt the endocrine system causing everything from birth defects to diabetes and cancer. They are ranked in the Top 12 of the "Dirty Dozen" for hormone disruption by the Environmental Watch Group (EWG).
I get headaches regularly. I had heard people talk about taking fragrance out of their home and I was about willing to try anything to do better for myself (minus going to the doctor- I always try to find a solution rather than a medication first). I removed all the candles and wallflowers from my home. In 3 weeks time, I've had 1 headache (and full disclosure: I had been out and about that day exposed to stores and other chemicals that were unavoidable). For someone that's used to getting headaches 3-5 times a week... that was a huge feat for me!
Oh, and I got rid of that headache immediately by using peppermint oil. I put one drop of Peppermint Vitality Oil on my thumb and put it to the roof of my mouth for several seconds until it entered my bloodstream.
I've also been using some great oil roller blends, one called Head Throb as a preventative measure when I go somewhere else to prevent getting a headache from other environments filled with fragrance. I also use it in conjunction with my peppermint oil to relieve tension around my head, neck, and shoulders.
Are you ready to ditch and switch?!
One Simple Swap
If you've heard of diffusing but don't know what all the fuss is about, it's a chemical-free way to enhance the aroma in your home. Only Young Living oils are 100% chemical-free with a seed to seal promise. So, those cheaper oils they are not regulated. They could be filled with toxins and synthetic oils because they too, aren't required to include all the ingredients on their packaging. Do not be deceived.
Young Living offers the only Seed to Seal promise, owns their farms and is 100% pesticide and fertilizer free.
It's cheaper, more fun (because who doesn't like changing the aroma in every room like me?!), and the safest alternative to a fragrant home.
If you want to learn more about what fall blends to use this time of year, I've put a few recipes below.