In life we form a variety of unique and different types of relationships. Some are healthy and some are unhealthy however we only learn these lessons by committing to these relationships with the intention to make them work.
One of the most unhealthy relationships I’ve had over the years is my love for candles. When I was growing up candles represented celebrations, happiness, peace and love. I’ve carried my love for candles throughout my entire life; in every home I’ve lived in, in every country I’ve traveled to, and most importantly all of the loving relationships I have with my family, friends, partners, work colleagues, meditation
In 2013 I suffered a series of health issues with on-going episodes of asthma and allergies attacks that were affecting a large majority of my life including increased sick days at work, difficulty exercising with increasing anxiety over the unpredictability of when one of these attacks would occur.
Later in the year, my partner Stephane found a coupon on the Living Social website which was advertising a half day Candle Making Class for $25 which we paid and registered for which was motivated by our shared love for candles and our dream our own homemade candles as a hobby to share within our home and to family and friends.
This half day course taught us about the; choices of wax available for use, fragrance options in scented candles, wick qualities, dyes, chemicals and other ingredients that differentiate not only the quality of candles but the many negative effects on our health when burning toxic chemicals within our homes, offices and all other indoor and outdoor environments leaving many people vulnerable to inhaling harmful chemicals which can cause allergies, asthma and headaches.
After the course I researched quite extensively into all of the candles I have been purchasing and burning in my home. As a candle lover I had a number of candles to research and investigate on which varied in price, style and country of origin.
During my investigation I found that “Being near a burning, scented candle can cause allergic reactions such as sneezing, runny nose, watery eyes and even headaches,” said Ed Neuzil, ARNP, PhD and owner of the Allergy, Sinus and Asthma Family Health Center. “In extreme cases, some people exhibit breathing difficulties and wheezing. Additionally, some people are sensitive to the soot released from the flame.”
Experts suspect that fragrance allergies are becoming more prominent because fragrances are more prevalent in products such as shampoos, lotions, cleaning supplies and cosmetics. They recommend the following tips to minimize candle soot pollution:
- Because many scented and slow burning candles may contain metals, consumers should look to see if the core of the wick is shiny metal. If you see metal, do not burn, or check with the manufacturer.
- When you do burn candles, keep the wicks cut short to one-quarter of an inch. A longer wick causes a larger flame and thus more soot.
- Do not shake or tip candles because the candle can smoke and send soot into the air to land on walls, carpets and furniture.
- Keep candles in places away from children and pets. Besides fire hazard, small children and animals may accidentally disturb a candle, causing it to smoke and release soot.
- Refrain from burning scented or slow-burning candles that have additives.
- Look for candles, such soy wax candles.
I believe that knowledge is power so my journey began learning more about the candles I had formed such close and intimate relationships with over the Yeats. I started by reading the fine print of not only the kind of wax I was burning but the many added ingredients I had overlooked, where they were manufactured and the quality and location of their materials including their packaging and brand identity.
As the pieces of the puzzle began to come together I soon began to realise that my love for candles were actually the cause of all of my health issues within my home and why I was suffering from asthma and allergies.
With a heavy heart I immediately began to dispose of every candle in my home and instead of purchasing new ones we began the process of making them ourselves. With a sense of renewed confidence and commitment both Stephane and I invested our time and energy to produce non toxic, chemical free candles using GMO free soy wax with fragrance oils that not only had three times the amount of burn time from our other candles but were made and manufactured on our home soil of Australia.
From this experience we began to truly value, and appreciate the many benefits of our quality homemade candles which has been the driving force over the past 2 years behind developing a brand of candles and other products that are made in AUSTRALIA with integrity and transparency with the intention of spreading a message of love and light in everything we do.
Ending any form of relationship can be very painful with a combination of grief and loss however I’m after the healing begins if we keep ourselves open new and more healthy ones will begin to enter your life. This was my experience with candles and a true and honest testament that when “one candle burns out, another candle begins to burn!
Let me know if you can relate this story. What unhealthy relationships have had with different products? I’d love to hear your thoughts and any feedback.
With Love & Light
Author Jim Villamor
With Integrity Australia Candles