Scented candles (and other smelly things) are a big dangerous elephant in the room. A scary threat to your health (and the health of your loved ones) that you may unwittingly be exposing yourself to on a daily basis. If you’re still burning them, you’ll want to read on. 


Phthalates are chemicals that rank number two in the top ten toxic exposures. In fact, 98 percent of people tested by the CDC had phthalates metabolites in their blood. These are chemicals that are used to soften plastics and as a fixative in fragranced products.

Fixatives are designed to stick to things for a long time. This includes your cellular tissues.

98% of people tested by the CDC had metabolites of phthalates in their blood.

Why should you be concerned about exposure to phthalates?

These chemicals are linked to a wide range of serious health issues, including, but not limited to: 

☞ Allergies & asthma
☞ ADHD & decreased IQ
☞ Breast & testicular cancers
☞ Birth defects
☞ Hormone disruption that leads to hormone-related conditions such as:
        ➣ Thyroid dysfunction
        ➣ Weight gain
        ➣ Diabetes & insulin resistance.

Why should you be concerned about phthalates?

So the less you’re exposed to, the better, eh?

VOCs, or Volatile Organic Chemicals, rank number 10 in the top ten toxic exposures. These are compounds that are emitted as gasses and easily evaporate at room temperature. Just like phthalates, VOCs are ubiquitous in our environment.

Why should you be concerned about exposure to VOCs?

Like phthalates, these chemicals are linked to a wide range of serious health issues, including, but not limited to: 

☞ Allergies & asthma
☞ Cancer
☞ Neurological issues including:
        ➣ Memory loss
          ➣ Tingling in extremities
          ➣ Anxiety & depression
☞ Mental retardation and delayed development in children
☞ Mood issues
☞ Hormone disruption that leads to hormone-related conditions such as:
        ➣ Thyroid dysfunction
        ➣ Weight gain
        ➣ Diabetes & insulin resistance.

Why should you be concerned about VOCs?

And guess what phthalates and VOCs have in common? They’re both toxins that are found in scented candles, air fresheners, perfumes, personal care products, household cleaners, and many other things around our homes.

Phthalates and VOCs are both toxins that are found in scented candles, air fresheners, perfumes, personal care products, household cleaners, and many other things around our homes. 

Beware of the Ingredient “Fragrance”

In addition, scented candles, air fresheners, and many other products around our homes have “fragrance” as an ingredient. “Fragrance” is basically code for “chemical shit-storm,” as fragrances are chemical cocktails that can contain up to 4,000 different synthetic ingredients. Because companies are protected by trade secrets, they are allowed to use the word “fragrance” on the ingredients list of their products even though they are required by law to list all ingredients on packaging. 

Fragrances are chemical cocktails that can contain up to 4,000 different synthetic ingredients. 

We’ve been tricked by the chemical industry! 

This industry has tricked us into loving the fake scents found in all of these common products. It has fooled us into believing that we need them to cover up our natural scents and make our homes smell “yummy.” And the chemical industry has taught us how to kill ourselves slowly, without even realizing we’re doing it.

The chemical industry has taught us how to kill ourselves slowly, without even realizing we’re doing it.

When we breathe in these fragranced products, the phthalates coat our lungs, leading to decreased oxygen capacity. The chemicals then enter our bloodstream, where they are transported throughout our body and into our lymphatic system. The liver, whose job is to filter out toxins from the body, becomes over-burdened and sluggish, and we lose our ability to eliminate the toxins as quickly as they’re coming in. The toxins accumulate. Our immune systems become compromised. Illness ensues.

How Fragranced Products Lead to Health Issues Infographic


Some people, like myself, who are particularly chemical sensitive, are like the canaries in the coal mine when it comes to these toxins. When exposed, the results are immediate and spectacular – migraines, runny noses, sneezing, itchy eyes, hives, or difficulty breathing. 

For others, the damage is silent and more insidious, but can lead to devastating problems down the road.

I used to love my scented candles! There would almost always be one burning in at least one room of my home. Simultaneously, I also suffered from severe allergies, asthma, and frequent respiratory infections that robbed me of quality of life.

Life was pretty much a suck-fest as I tried to keep all the miserable symptoms in check. I was irritable ALL THE TIME! 

Allergy Misery Image



Around the time I learned to clean up my diet, the dangers of environmental toxins also came onto my radar. I discovered that cleaning up my diet was only a small piece of the puzzle when it came to healing my body. I found out about the prevalence of toxic chemicals in our cleaning and personal care products, and things we use to keep our homes, offices and cars smelling “fresh.” 

Things like air fresheners and scented candles.

I was so sad to see my scented candles go, but I was so miserable and so desperate to feel well. If I wanted to REALLY heal my body, I knew that I needed to address ALL the factors that were contributing to my health issues. So I did a clean-sweep of my home. 

Every last scented candle and air freshener went in the trash. Once I’d learned how dangerous and toxic these products were, I could no longer justify having them in my home, car or workplace; not just for my own health, but for my family’s health as well.

Image of Examples of Dangerous Products

Purging all the smelly things from my home, was a huge piece of the puzzle when it came to healing from my allergies, asthma and other long-time health issues. And it’s a first step I insist all my clients take in their journeys back to health.


I enjoyed allergy freedom for over three years. Until one day, in a moment of weakness, I took leave of my senses. 

It was a chilly late-fall night, and I was strolling through the mall after a long work day when I came across a great sale on scented candles from a popular candle company. I began to reminisce about the fall scents warming up my home and the Christmas scents to follow. The artificial aromas of pine trees, sugar cookies, and cinnamon-clove were intoxicating, and I was enticed by nostalgic memories of a flickering candle and the waft of pumpkin spice.

Between the reminiscing and late-day decision-fatigue, I didn’t stand a chance against the temptation. I left the store that night with at least ten new candles, along with fantasies of their delicious fragrances filling my cozy winter home. 

Within five minutes of the 20 minute car ride home, the symptoms began.

Nose running like a faucet. Eyes burning and itching like mad. Uncontrollable sneezing, coughing and wheezing. I was so caught up in the excitement of my impulse buy that I didn’t put two and two together. Not right away at least.

Woman with allergies in car

Upon arriving home, I promptly found homes for the candles in different rooms around the house — all while wiping frantically at my dripping nose, sneezing, coughing, and scratching at my itchy eyes. 

Woman sneezing

I still hadn’t put two and two together.

As the evening progressed, along with my symptoms, I decided that a relaxing soak in the tub might help. And it was while I sat soaking in the tub, wiping furiously at the river flowing from my nose, trying not to gouge out my itching eyes, that the a-ha moment hit me. It arrived when the flicker of the candle burning inches from my face caught my eye.

THE CANDLES! I had not burned scented candles in my home for a few years at that point. Within minutes of introducing them back into my life, I began experiencing symptoms that had previously plagued me for YEARS! 

Candle image with skull & crossbones

All the candles were immediately loaded right back into the car and returned to the store the following day. But the fumes from the candles lingered in my car for weeks, and it was weeks before my symptoms finally subsided again.

Sometimes setbacks in life are great teachers to remind us about what we already know.

I had known prior to purchasing these candles about the dangers of synthetic fragrances, but my emotional brain took over my logical brain when my decision-making capacity was depleted. 


Allow me to offer you one solid piece of advice for taking charge of your health RIGHT NOW. Immediately go through your home, car and workplace and get rid of every synthetically scented candle and air freshener that you have. This is something you can do in under 15 minutes that will have a radical positive impact on your health.

This purge includes: candles, plug-ins and spray air fresheners, the air fresheners you dangle from your rear-view mirror. Every last one of them! The fact that you paid good money for them is irrelevant when we’re talking about your health and the health of your family. 

Smelly Things to Purge Infographic

You may be thinking that you don’t need to do this purge because you’re not noticing any immediate symptoms. Maybe you think these chemicals just aren’t affecting you. 

But let’s talk for a minute about the origin of the expression “canary in a coal mine.” This expression originates from when miners used to carry caged canaries into the coal mines to test for dangerous gases such as carbon monoxide. The canaries, being more sensitive to the gases, would die before the miners did, which would alert the miners to exit the tunnel immediately.

People like me are the canaries in the coal mine when it comes to toxic chemicals. Our immediate and spectacular reactions are the SOS alert that EVERYONE should be paying attention to!

Canary in Cage

I get it. You love your scented candles and air fresheners. But let me ask you some questions. 

Have you, or someone you loved been affected by: 

  • Cancer? 
  • An autoimmune condition? 
  • ADHD? 
  • Migraines or chronic headaches? 
  • Hormonal issues such as:
    • Infertility or miscarriage?
    • PMS?
    • Acne or other skin conditions? 
    • Sleep issues?
    • thyroid disease? 

I can’t imagine that a single person reading this can answer no to the above questions. ALL of us has, in some way, been impacted by these issues of modern health. 

It SUCKS losing someone you love to cancer and watching them go through the battle. 

It SUCKS to watch someone you love suffer with the debilitating effects of autoimmunity or any other chronic health condition. 

And it SUCKS to be the person suffering from them. 

These conditions rob you of joy and quality of life. And there is simply no replacement for a lost loved one.

Chemically fragranced products such as scented candles and air fresheners are loaded with chemicals that have been classified as carcinogens (cancer-causing) and endocrine disrupting (hormone-disrupting). 

Carcinogens & Endocrine Disrupting Infographic

Perhaps you don’t notice immediate and spectacular effects of these chemicals on your body like the “canaries” do. But this does not mean that the chemicals you are exposing yourself and your loved ones to are not causing insidious damage to your internal tissues little-by-little. 

Consider the health of your children. Your spouse. Is their long-term health worth the risk of having a synthetically fragranced home and car? Think about the quality of life that you could be missing out on down the road when the insidious effects catch up to you or that of a family member. Think about your family having to watch you suffer or having to watch a family member suffer. 

Is it really worth it?


We live in a world today where we are constantly bombarded with chemical exposure. Our bodies are exposed to more synthetic chemicals today than ever before in the history of our species, and our body’s detox mechanisms are not equipped to handle it! 

In today’s world, it would be impossible to avoid all exposure to these toxins. But what we CAN do is minimize our exposure as much as possible by limiting the synthetic chemicals that we allow into our homes. By making this one small change, you will be creating a safer, healthier environment for yourself and your family.

If we keep our long-term health and the health of our loved ones in mind, we MUST be willing to sacrifice the immediate gratification of pleasures now.

The effects of some of these chemicals may not immediately noticeable, but that doesn’t mean they are not causing problems that will show up down the road.

If you have tears of sorrow running down your cheeks at the horror of giving up your smelly chemicals, here are a few alternatives to candles and synthetic air fresheners:

  1. Burn unscented beeswax candles. You’ll get the cozy feel of a candle burning without the harmful chemicals.
  2. Replace your synthetically scented candles with those scented with pure essential oils only. These can be harder to find, and are more expensive than the ones you’re used to buying, but trust me, it will be worth it! A word of caution: Many people who are sensitive to fragrances won’t be able to tolerate scented candles of any kind, even those that are not chemically fragranced.
  3. Use essential oil diffuser and pure, therapeutic-grade essential oils instead of air fresheners and plug-ins. Essential oils have health benefits and make your space smell wonderful. You can check out DoTerra diffusers and essential oils here
  4. Use essential oil room sprays. Make sure that the only ingredients are pure essential oils and water! You can make your own, too!
  5. Use bamboo activated charcoal bags to absorb odors in automobiles, closets, gym bags, etc.

Alternatives to Synthetics Infographic

Ok, let’s get your home detox started! Put your phone down, and start the smelly stuff purge! 

If you’re ready to take charge of your health and kick your allergies and asthma to the curb once and for all, grab my Allergy Freedom Toolkit & check out my other digital courses. I know how it feels for allergies to control your life, and I want you to experience relief. With the easy-to-follow guides and videos in the Toolkit, you will finally have the missing pieces of the puzzle that you need to take control of the allergy cycle and stop it for good.

Allergy Freedom Toolkit Image