Allergy leads Bay Area woman to create synthetic-free candles

Candles are one of Jordan Reddington's favorite things.

"I love coming home after a long day and unwinding with the scent, the aroma of a clean candle," says Reddington.

But she said not all candles and fragrance products have agreed with her.

"For me, I was always lining the inside of my home with candles and home fragrance plugs from all different types of companies and when I did that I found that I was constantly feeling not well. I actually learned that I had an allergy to what's called MI and it's a synthetic preservative that's in a lot of candles and synthetic fragrances," said Reddington.

Issues like Reddington's have sparked studies and questions about sensitivity to products like candles.

"Things get in the air that can irritate certain people, not only allergic people, but even people who are not allergic. You have to realize the allergic person is going to be ten times more susceptible to an irritant in the air than the normal person. That's from an irritant like chlorine, chemicals in candles, chemicals in things that you clean with," said USF allergist Dr. Richard Lockey.

"Headaches definitely increase in certain individuals and there's a subgroup of people who are more prone to those responses than others," said USF Professor of Medicine Dr. Gaetane Michaud.

"I have found that most people have gone away from candles because there's this thinking that it will develop migraines. You'll develop some sort of dizziness or uneasiness with synthetic fragrances," said Reddington.

So she did some research.

"A cheaply used wick can create, so it can create mushrooming. When you go down to the product, you have the wax. A very cheap way to develop a candle is paraffin wax. Paraffin wax, when lit, can create a lot of disrupting agents," said Reddington.

She set out to create synthetic free candles. The result is her product called Canarie.

"I started to use an eco cotton wick, 100% soy wax, clean fragrance, oils that are phthalate free. My allergy has really allowed me to understand how we can sneak in all these different types of trade names for the agents that can cause a lot of these issues for others. Look for a soy-based wax that's clean and free of different carcinogens and respiratory, triggering issues," said Reddington. "Find a different kind of candle. Look what's in it. If you think there's some chemical that's going to bother you, don't buy it," said Dr. Lockey.

For more information about Canarie, click here.

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