Are Everyday Candles Destroying Your Home And Health?

Did you know that most candles are made from the sludge in the bottom of a barrel of oil which is bleached and texturized with a chemical called acrolein?

They’re called paraffin candles and burning one puts all the same horrible toxins and carcinogens (cancer causing agents) into the air in your home that burning diesel fuel in your home would.

The National Candle Association estimates that more than 7 million people in the US alone burn candles every year.

But testing by the EPA has confirmed that those candles, and the smoke and soot they give off, contain several dangerous chemicals in significant quantities. These chemicals include known or probable carcinogens, neurotoxins and reproductive toxins.

The American Lung Association also warns that burning paraffin candles can emit toxins (in measurable amounts) into your home’s air.

It might shock you to learn that after burning just a few paraffin candles in your home, the overall effect on the quality of the air in your home could be worse than the air in major cities like Los Angeles!

Not only is your health affected, but the health of your pets and children as well.

Cathy Flanders who has been at the forefront of addressing health and safety issues involving candles says, “With the current ‘candle-craze’ and increased candle burning in homes, expectant Moms need to be aware of the fact that the emissions from some candles are toxic, reproductive toxins, neuro-toxins and/or carcinogens. This has been a growing cause for concern for the EPA and children’s health agencies.”

And it might hit your pocket book soon too. Not only is the price of oil spiraling out of control, but you might have a nasty surprise the next time you go to renew your homeowners insurance.

The NIA Group (Insurance and Financial Services) lists the following problems with paraffin candles in an article on their website:

1) Reduces the internal air quality in your home.

2) Damage by particulate deposits on interior and exterior walls, carpets, furniture, appliances, window treatments, floors and other surfaces.

3) Contributes to health problems from inhaling particulate matter or ingesting harmful chemicals.

4) Spews hazardous chemicals that are either in the paraffin wax, the wick, or are present when paraffin wax is burned….Acetone, Benzene, Trichlorofluoromethane, Carbon Disulfide, 2-Butanone, Trichloroethane, Trichloroethene, Carbon Tetrachloride, Tetrachloroethene, Toluene, Chlorobenzene, Ethylbenzene, Styrene, Xylene, Phenol, Cresol, Cyclopentene and Lead

They go on to say…

“Another surprise is that the candle-making industry is not required to tell consumers about the ingredients used in their products, including when a wick is used which contains a lead core.”

No one knows for sure if paraffin candles cause cancer, but there are at least 4 cancer-causing chemicals associated with paraffin candles.

The EPA lists these chemicals on their website:

1) Benzene (EPA classification as Group A, known human carcinogen).

2) Carbon Tetrachloride (EPA classification as Group B2 probable human carcinogen).

3) Trichloroethane (EPA classification as Group C, possible human carcinogen).

4) Toluene (EPA classification as Group B2 probable human carcinogen).

Would you burn animal fat in your home?

Most of us would answer an emphatic “No!” or “Yuck!” to that question, but like something straight out of a horror movie, you might react in horror to realize that you probably are burning animal fat in your home when you burn paraffin candles.

That’s because many paraffin candles contain large amounts of animal fats to give them a more textured or rustic look.

So what’s the alternative?

Believe it or not, the answer comes from soybeans.

The soy plant produces a waxy substance that not only burns cooler, but can burn up to 50% longer than paraffin wax.

Since soy wax is derived from plants, it’s a renewable resource that’s a pleasure for candle makers to work with.

Some of the surprising benefits of soy candles include:

* Burn with no toxins, carcinogens or choking soot.

* Burn up to 50% longer than paraffin candles.

* Cruelty-free, contain no animal fats.

* Non-toxic, biodegradable, derived from a renewable resource.

* Cleans up easily with soap and hot water.

* Better for the environment.

* Use no nasty chemicals to release fragrance.

* Supports the American farmer – not foreign oil.

As more and more people learn about the harmful effects of burning paraffin candles in their homes, they’re substituting soy candles with surprising results.

Karen Key, a mother of three in Washington state, had this to say, “I’m asthmatic and when I burn paraffin candles in my home, or get around smoke or perfumy scents, my airway closes down and I start to panic. So I was more than a little nervous when a friend lit a scented soy candle in front of me. I have to say I’m completely amazed. Shocked is a better word. With soy candles I now have no problem breathing and I can finally enjoy the beauty and magic of candles in my home once again!”

So the next time you want to create a warm, inviting, and romantic atmosphere in your home, don’t destroy your home – or your health, choose all-natural soy candles as a healthy alternative.

To learn more about the dangers of paraffin candles you can go to any of the following websites:

http://www.epa.gov

http://www.soycandlemaker.biz

http://www.scorecard.org

http://www.webref.org

http://www.fpinva.org

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Sterling Silver Used in Jewelry Adornment Offers Timeless Beauty and is Safe to Wear

Sterling silver is a precious metal that is found in the earth. It was discovered about 8,000 to 10,000 years ago along with gold, platinum, and other mineral ores as sited by Janet Coles and Robert Budwig in The Book of Beads published by Simon and Schuster, 1990. Silver has been used in jewelry, trinkets, tools, and weapons. Sterling Silver is still used in jewelry adornment today for its beauty and is safe to wear as this precious metal is non-toxic.

When purchasing sterling silver one thing to look for is.925 stamped on the piece. Not all sterling silver beads are stamped as it would be impractical and cost prohibitive to stamp each one. What does the stamp.925 mean? It means 92.5% of the jewelry piece is pure silver and 7.5% is another metal. In sterling silver the other metal is usually copper because copper has strength giving properties. It can also be zinc, platinum as it helps increase the resistance to tarnish.

Another good way to tell if something is sterling is its ability to tarnish. Tarnish means that the silver gets a dull gray to black film over time. The tarnishing process is caused by chemicals in the air. That is why your grandmother and mother carefully placed their sterling silverware in wooden boxes with cloth to seal out the air to help prevent tarnishing. The good news is that tarnish does not harm the silver piece and is quickly remedied with a special silver polishing cloth.

You may also come across the stamp.999 which means 99.9% pure silver. This is a very soft form of sterling with the highest content of silver. It is not recommended for use in jewelry because of its likeliness to bend, ding, and change shape. For daily jewelry wear it would be wise to consider.925 sterling silver as it is more durable.

Be aware that many people sell silver colored jewelry as sterling silver and possibly may not even know it as they were told it was silver. If the price seems too good to be true there is plenty of room for speculation. Maybe, the jewelry piece was electroplated with silver or dipped (coated in silver). In both of these procedures the silver can be worn away with time. These types of pieces should never be called silver as another metal really makes up the composition of the piece.

Not too long ago a warning came out about cadmium being used in children’s jewelry. Cadmium is a bluish white metal that rates high in toxicity and is considered a poison and hazardous substance. Cadmium has a silver appearance. Having cadmium and lead in jewelry can carry potential risks especially for children who may place the jewelry in their mouths. It is imperative to know the metals that are used in your handcrafted jewelry pieces. It is a good policy to remain with gold and silver in your jewelry purchases as they not only have a timeless beauty, but these precious metals are free of health related concerns.

The Link Between Sex and Health

Sometimes it’s hard to tell what’s an old wive’s tale and what the truth is when it comes to the link between sex and your health, so Dating with Dignity compiled some TRUTHS for you about S-E-X, your health, vitality and overall mojo.

Sex does a body good.

Regular sex (safe sex!) can actually keep you young.

Not only does it burn calories (150-300 per hour, on average!), but it also lowers your stress levels. When you orgasm, your body releases dopamine that produces that “natural high” feeling. In fact, studies have compared the brain scans of people during orgasm to those of people who are “high” on certain drugs, and the results are nearly identical!

During sex and climax, in addition to dopamine your body also releases oestrogen, which protects against heart disease. Oxytocin is also produced when you touch and kiss your partner, and another huge blast of it is also produced during the big O. These hormones of course are also produced when you give yourself an orgasm, so you don’t need another person to experience these benefits! In addition, regular sex is a pain reliever; oxytocin actually reduces pain levels! (That’s why an orgasm can help reduce pain from menstrual cramps!) It also helps you bond with your mate and can even make you feel more generous.

Scientists say that those who have sex in the morning are happier AND healthier.

Wake-up sex can actually make your day more productive. The release of hormones from sex produces that “glow” and also lowers anxiety levels. It also raises your self-esteem; so if you’re prepping for a big meeting, instead of chugging coffee try a roll in the hay or a moment with your vibrator. You’ll impress your audience with the confidence you bring after your eventful morning.

Nature’s Beauty Enhancer

Climaxing also releases a chemical that boosts estrogen, and estrogen makes your hair and skin look great. Improved texture of your hair and tone of your skin means you can probably throw away that “extra moisture” lotion you just bought. Whether you let your guy know he’s the gift that keeps on giving or give yourself a “thank you, ma’am,” acknowledge how embracing your femininity pays off in more ways than one!

Reduce risk of illness? Yes, please!

Studies have shown that having sex three times a week can actually cut the risk of heart attack or stroke in HALF. It also increases antibody production that helps your body fight off the common cold or fever. Regular sex also helps you sleep better, and good sleep is an important ally in the fight against sickness (as well as blood pressure and weight management).

Fertility boost

Last, regular sex also improves your chances of getting pregnant because it improves sperm quality. Daily climax for a man cuts down on any DNA damage that’s found in sperm samples; so if you’re trying to get pregnant, regular sex can certainly help you reach your goal.

In Dating with Dignity’s search for the truths about the link between sex and health, we’ve discovered that the benefits of regular sex are worth the effort, whether you are single or not!

Five Tips To Maintain A Beautiful And Young-Looking Skin

People age. That is inevitable. The best people can do about it, is slow it down through properly taking care of the skin and body. Having beautiful and young-looking skin does not only mean a pleasant appearance but it can also indicate good health. However, with stress and pollution that is always present in the environment, it can be very challenging for people to achieve. Still, there are ways to manage it and below are seven tips that you can follow.

1. Antioxidants. Food rich with anti-oxidants are great for the skin as it cleanses the skin from the inside. Always make a habit of eating food that is rich with those nutrients such as dark leafy greens, richly colored leafy greens like broccoli, spinach, drumstick leaves, small red bean, wild blueberry, red kidney bean, pinto bean, blueberry, cranberry, artichoke, blackberry, prune, raspberry, strawberry, red apple, pecan, sweet cherry, black plum, russet potato, black bean, and plum.

2. Water. It can also help keep the skin look good. The water in the skin serves as a protective barrier to prevent excess fluid loss. Too much fluid loss or dehydration can make your skin dry and wrinkled. Be sure to be properly hydrated to avoid experiencing wrinkles and dry skin.

3. Moisturizer. Moisturizers are good to help lock the moisture in your skin. There are different moisturizers that you can take advantage in the market. The organic the moisturizers are, the better.

Also, If you have been constantly battling with fine lines, stretch marks, scars, dryness, and uneven skin tone, shea butter is great. It is even commended to cure serious skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis according to medical experts.

4. Sun protection. According to a British Association of Dermatologists survey, sun protection can keep the skin look younger. Exposure to the sun affects the elastin in the skin that can lead to wrinkles and sun-induced skin aging and worst, skin cancer. Make sure you have sun protection every time you head out especially if you are in a tropical country.

5. Vices. It would do you much favor to minimize or better quit your vices like smoking and drinking alcohol. Studies have shown that smoking can reduce the skin’s natural elasticity through promoting the breakdown of collagen and reducing the amount that is produced. Collagen is a protein which helps skin strength. Drinking alcohol, on the other hand, can make your body and skin dehydrated making the skin look old and tired.

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