I'm planning a "minimalist" approach to fall decorating this year. Mainly just cuz I'm pretty tired after a busy year here in Tyler, Texas. But, I did manage to put a little "autumnal vignette" together. I'm pretty happy about it. ;)

(Yeah I know it's technically not fall yet, but WHATEVER.)

I don't about you, but one of my favorite things ever is candles. There is something beyond cozy about the process of lighting a tiny flame and then, after a few minutes, enjoying the aromatic magic throughout my home.

Joyce g k, Unsplash
Joyce g k, Unsplash
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This is particularly true starting around this time of year and throughout the holiday season. It's one of the most key components of "coziness" that I love.

So, I was heartbroken when I ran across an article touting warnings and sounding alarms over the fact that we were likely poisoning ourselves and our families by enjoying what seemed like such a harmless treat.

(I mean, what a great way to enjoy calorie-free pumpkin bread, am I right?) So, is your vanilla cookie or pumpkin spice candle wreaking physical havoc on you?

Let's take a look at a few of those concerns, shall we?

Joanna Kosinska, Unsplash
Joanna Kosinska, Unsplash
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Is the candle wax made of poisonous chemicals that are released when burned? 

There was a study done by South Carolina State University in 2009 claiming that "paraffin wax releases harmful chemicals such as toluene. However, this study has been called into question by the NCA particularly because it was never published in a journal and peer-reviewed."

There were other problems with that study, as well. As a matter of fact, "there’s no scientific basis for these claims that paraffin, or soy, or any other sort of wax could be harmful when burned," says Rob Harrington, Ph.D., a toxicologist with the National Candle Association.

OK, so even if the wax is ok, what about those lovely fragrances? 

Jessica Fadel, Unsplash
Jessica Fadel, Unsplash
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I mean, how can a candle emit smells sometimes indistinguishable from the actual thing they claim to represent? There must be some dark, toxic wizardry at work here, right?

So yes, those enticing candle scents are brought to fruition using chemicals. However, upon study, these fragrances usually conform to "safety standards established by the International Fragrance Association, which ensures that chemicals used are non-toxic and safe for human use."

The only issue of concern, according to the study, is that fragrant candles can aggravate those who suffer from asthma or other breathing troubles. For more specifics, click the article link below.

"Yeah, but you can't convince me that those lead-containing wicks aren't harming us." A worthy concern, for sure.

Joanna Kosinska, Unsplash
Joanna Kosinska, Unsplash
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However, lead in candle wicks has been banned since 2013. That doesn't mean every candlemaker adheres to these standards. Thus it's always a good idea to make sure you purchase candles from a reputable company--just like with any household product.

Ready to learn more? House Beautiful offers a more comprehensive look into this here.

Now, if you'll excuse me I'm going to go bake a cake. I think lighting this caramel apple candle will be just the inspiration I need.

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