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Warning! Hundreds of Fire Deaths May Be Linked to Skin Creams

A BBC investigation has linked skin creams containing paraffin to 45 fire deaths in England since 2010. The danger can be traced to the flammable nature of paraffin and the viscosity of skin cream, which allows it to coat and soak into permeable fabrics. If you do not frequently wash the paraffin out of your bedding and clothes, you are essentially enrobing yourself in an accelerant that can be set off by a lit cigarette, candle or an open flame.

U.K. fire services are issuing warnings about skin creams but the manufacturers have been slow to alert the public about this potential fire hazard. Firefighter Chris Bell, interviewed by the BBC, says that the number of deaths linked to skin creams is likely much higher than reported. "Hundreds of thousands of people use them, we're not sure how many fire deaths might have occurred but it could be into the hundreds." A lack of resources has prevented forensic scientists from assessing every potential skin cream fatality and many incidents have gone unreported. 

The dangers posed by moisturizing creams and emolients are more than skin deep and not limited to their extreme flammability. They may be widely used to treat eczema, dry skin and burns but many of the most popular creams boast a long list of suspect ingredients, of which paraffin may actually appear to be the least harmful. Superior natural options are available. Pure emu oil and coconut oil are alternatives that can provide moisture without chemical additives. Sandalwood oil is an effective skin care product that relieves itching and inflammation, and can help allay the general discomfort of dehydrated skin. 

It is worth mentioning that coconut oil is still flammable and you should make a point of removing any residue from your bedding or clothing. Avoid any potential contact between this healthy oil and open flames. It is also wise to evaluate the sources of open flames in your house and determine if they pose more than just a fire risk. There are a number of common household items that can adversely affect your health and this article outlines 10 of the most common offenders. 

The dangers of cigarettes are fairly obvious but scented candles are also a major source of indoor air pollution. Many people enjoy the ambiance they add, but the odors they emit come at a cost. Scented candles are known to contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs), allergens, phthalates and cancer-causing chemicals such as benzene and formaldehyde. Many of the chemicals emitted by scented candles have been linked to hormone disruption, allergies, asthma and even cancerous mutations in DNA. One recent study found that even when unlit they are a potent source of VOCs and, when lit, pollute the air with concentrated formaldehyde.

Dry skin is a problem best tackled from the inside out. Omega-3 fats help to normalize your skin fats and prevent dehydration in your cells. This keeps your skin cells strong and full of moisture, which can help to decrease the appearance of fine lines. Fatty-acid deficiency can manifest in a variety of ways, but skin problems such as eczema, thick patches of skin, and cracked heels are common. Plus, omega-3 fats may have an anti-inflammatory effect that can help to calm irritated skin, giving you a clearer, smoother complexion.

What you don’t eat can also have an enormous impact on your skin health. Steer clear of sugars, fructose, grains, fried foods, and broiled foods if you want to minimize your wrinkles and promote youthful looking skin.
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