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Home: Scentsy Bars & Gold Canyon Candles (Why we can't review them)

We've received a lot of interest from readers regarding the safety of not only candles in general, but specifically, wickless candles such as Scentsy which utilize a wax tart that is placed in a warmer unit to disperse fragrance into the air. Due to lack of ingredient disclosure, we are unable to determine the safety of this product and will not test/review the Scentsy bars/tarts. For those of you with Scentsy warmers already, we plan to experiment with using the warmer with alternative vegetable waxes and essential oil blends to see if it will work with more natural products. Even though we cannot personally comment on Scentsy bars/tarts from experience, there are some important things to consider when making a choice about purchasing or using a product, this entry may help you with the process so you can decide for yourself if a product is safe or not.

At first hearing about tart warmers, it sounded like a plug-in air freshener just like any other but with messy wax added to the equation. Many studies by many reputable organizations and safety councils have studied and determined that most air fresheners contain or create toxic chemicals.  Everything seems to be a political game of profit, you can find experts on all sides to testify to anything, so it is VERY important to look at WHO is FUNDING the should be an independent, non-profit organization who does not financially benefit from the results either way. Confusion is often a tactic used in product marketing just as it is used in politics; to avoid being played, always look behind the scenes to determine the reputation of a study.

The ironic part is that most people will think twice about swallowing something they believe to be dangerous, but people slather toxic chemicals all over their skin and inhale their fumes without a second thought.
Let's consider methods of possible toxin exposure...since many people are ill-informed on how you can be poisoned. Inhalation: When you inhale a chemical, it goes directly from the lungs to the bloodstream; this is the worst exposure you can receive as there is no filtration whatsoever - you will receive a full dose. Skin Absorption: The next most dangerous way to be exposed to chemicals is through skin application. Your skin is an organ and although it creates somewhat of a barrier, it is easily penetrated and chemicals will go directly into the bloodstream from what is absorbed through the skin. Ingestion: Lastly, ingestion is another way chemicals invade your body - but with swallowing a chemical, your body has more defenses set up to deal with it, such functions are provided for by your liver and kidneys.

Now back to Scentsy and why we are unable to test their bars/tarts:

INGREDIENTS: (directly quoted from Scentsy website)
"A secret combination of ingredients is used to create a pool of melted wax, which is transformed into a wickless candle bar. Scentsy uses a food-grade petroleum based wax."

In other words, they're not going to tell you what's in there - the ingredient list is secret. What this melts down to is whether or not you trust a company with your life and the life of everyone living in your household. When you buy a product, you place a vote with your dollars to let that company know that you don't need to know what they put in their products, whatever is in there is okay with you, you'd rather remain in the dark. Consumers who buy products without full disclosure typically fall under the "ignorance is bliss" category because they would rather not have to think about ingredients or possible consequences.

Does Scentsy contain phthalates (certain chemicals known to cause endocrine [hormone] problems)? No. Although, this only rules out one category of toxins as the ingredient "fragrance" can hide many, many ingredients under that single term without disclosure, some of which may be toxic or unsafe. Since Scentsy (and many other companies) refuse to openly disclose their actual ingredients, it is IMPOSSIBLE for any consumer to make an educated decision about the safety of their use. 

Beware: Some candle companies avoid the phthalate question. Some companies, like Gold Canyon Candles, are tricky with wording by saying they "do not use phthalates which are known to cause problems" - notice the wording to avoid answering the question - they won't say they do not use ANY phthalates. This is a red flag.

On top of the "secret combination of ingredients" used to synthetically fragrance (read: chemicals created in a lab to make an artificial scent), they admit to using petroleum wax. Petroleum is also what is used to make gasoline. It is not an eco-friendly product in getting to the resource (think about the Gulf BP drilling mess), manufacturing (it pollutes tons of water and creates huge messes to refine it into petroleum from crude oil), or disposal. Although they claim on their website that they were unable to find a vegetable based wax that held their scents, many other companies have proven it can be done and it can be done well! There are plenty of soy and palm wax candle companies whose waxes hold essential oils perfectly for long periods of time. Perhaps the problem is not the vegetable wax, perhaps the problem is the cocktail of chemicals being used for fragrance? Just a thought.

SAFETY CLAIMS: (directly quoted from the Scentsy company website)
"Scentsy Warmers only warm the scent out of the wax - the wax remains in the warmer, thus there is no danger of chemicals being released into the home."

No danger of chemicals being released? Really? Fragrance oils are made from chemicals created in a lab. The fragrance oil is completely released until the wax is unscented. Obviously, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that you are inhaling chemicals from the fragrance and CHEMICALS ARE BEING RELEASED INTO YOUR HOME AND BODY.

Already have a scentsy warmer? We're currently testing healthier alternatives to be used in the warmers! Stay tuned....