In 2001 the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency)
concluded that burning paraffin candles emit harmful amounts of toxins in
the air that are considered above the excess cancer risk, with multiple
According to California’s safe drinking water and toxic enforcement act
of 1986, there are up to twenty toxins in paraffin candle wax, -substances
which are found in paint, lacquer and varnish removers.
Petro-soot from paraffin candles gives off the same soot as the exhaust of
a diesel engine, and is considered just as dangerous as second hand smoke,
causing problems from headaches to lung cancer. Paraffin fumes have been
found to cause tumors in the kidneys and liver of lab animals.
In 2005, when the American Lung Association issued a warning to the public
about the dangers of paraffin the National Candle Association (NCA)
threatened them with legal action. The NCA has also sent letters to others
who tried to warn the public.
Paraffin is made from leftover residue of the final petroleum refining
process. The wealthy oil industry (which not only sells their by-products
to the candle industry but also has four members sitting on the board of
the National Candle Association) has assumed a very dominant position in
the candle manufacturing business.
Additionally increasing the amount of particulates, volatile compounds,
and soot released into the air
· the type of wick
· inclusion of any synthetic fragrant oil scents and/or dyes
· anytime you have a flame and combustion.
Many wicks have a metal core, containing zinc, tin or lead which emit
harmful toxins into the air and can cause lead exposure as particles of
lead that volatilize during normal candle burning. (Manufacturers are not
required to disclose lead content.) The small particulate matter can
irritate and damage the lungs, causing breathing problems, in
particular affecting those with asthma or some type of lung or heart
Preliminary wipe test results show 40mg of lead per
sq. ft. in a home that burned a number of lead core wick candles, an
astounding amount for a substance for which there is no safe level. 100%
of lead that is inhaled is absorbed into the bloodstream.
The Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) warned about the danger of
metal core wicks (especially lead) as in the early 1970s. The candle
industry agreed to voluntarily stop using lead or other metals in the
wicks. However, 26 years later the University of Michigan took random
samplings and found about 30 percent of the candles tested from the United
States and overseas still used the lead wicks which release more lead into
the air than is recommended as safe by the EPA. The study also showed the
amounts of lead in the air increased the longer the candles burned.
DYES & FRAGRANCES-
Most candles on the market made from paraffin may also contain other
chemical additives in the dyes and fragrances that can be toxic when
Candle-makers are using increasing amounts fragrance oils into their wax
mixtures, some of which are not even suitable for combustion. Too much
fragrance, in “triple scented candles” can cause the candle wick to
mushroom, smoke when burned, and could even cause the candle itself to
combust causing shooting flames several inches above the candle. Excessive
amounts of fragrance oil contribute to soot (referred to as ghosting,
carbon tracking, carbon tracing, and dirty house syndrome ) a concern when
candles are burned indoors, it leaves reside on walls and furniture. Ever
notice the black soot on the jars of some of the well known candle
Most commercially manufactured fragrances are formulated in a petroleum
base, which are toxic properties when burned. Some scented candles have
been found to emit toxins such as acetone, tetrachloroethene,
chlorobenzene, ethylbenzene, styrene, xylene, phenol, cresol, cyclopentene,
lead, carbon monoxide, particulate matter and soot.
The candle industry, is not regulated by the government. Candle
manufacturers are not required to list or disclose hazardous, toxic or
carcinogenic compounds used as ingredients in their products or even place
warning labels on their products regarding lead content and emissions so
reading the label might not help.
See July 2006 Reader’s Digest on lung cancer “Why Me”? (also Dana
Reeve and my neighbor, both who never smoked, died of lung cancer.) Think
there is any relationship??
This is why wickless candles are becoming so popular.
When burning regular wax candles you subject yourself and family members to
emission of 11 toxins, 3 of which are carcinogenic! This is because
regular wax candles are made from petroleum and the candle wicks have a lead
Burning wax candles also leaves a residue of soot throughout your home.
Should a child or pet in your house ingest a piece of this type of candle, it
could be harmful.
Buying these candles supports the oil industry and its ever escalating prices.
Every one who likes candles should consider SOY, which burns at least 2X as long
as a regular candle and holds its scent for unlimited time.
The facts surrounding soy are clear and simple:
If you burn regular wax candles you are subjecting yourself and other household
members to 11 toxins, much the same as cigarette smoke. Soy should be your
choice. Remember Soy candles may be a little more expensive, but they burn
2X as long as a regular candles. do not forget to ask about the type of
wicks used, as lead base wicks are also harmful.
have recently had several fellow Ebayers ask me, "What is the rage about
soy?" Let's start with the obvious--IT SUPPORTS OUR AMERICAN SOYBEAN
FARMERS! It burns cleaner, slower, and
more even than paraffin wax, which is a petroleum byproduct.
The negative side to regular wax candles is that they do not burn evenly, they
are not smoke free (When you blow the candle out, you have alot of black stinky
smoke, which is unhealthy for you and your home.) If you are burning a jar
candle, you will see the black residue on the container. When you use pillar
candles, you need to maintain the candles, shaping the candle while it is warm
or hot, if it falls in or sinks. Working with hot wax has a high risk of getting
you burned. Not to mention spilling wax on your tables and counters can leave
color stains and marks. They also do not hold the fragrance very well.
Soy wax has negatives and positives also. soy does not hold color well, seperate
additives are needed to be mixed into the wax in order to make a color hold
longer, which I personally will not use because our company only uses natural
products. soy candles should be purchased as jar candles or tarts, not votives
or pillars because regular wax is added to soy wax in order to make a soy
"pillar or votive" candle hold it's shape. Which is NOT an all natural
candle. t it is a home healthy candle. a natural earth made product! I have
found that most soy candles are made with skin safe fragrances which means if
you can put it directly on your body, it will not harm YOU! Soy burns evenly and
lasts alot longer than regular wax candles. Look for candles that have Zinc core
wicks, or hemp wicks, these wicks produce virtually no smoke or soot when burned
or put out. This is great for people with allergies or asthma. Soy wax holds
it's scent evenly and stays strong all the way through, if made correctly.. Warm
water and soap will clean up the mess from carpets, floors, and counters.
Sales of soy wax are expected to more than triple this year alone. several
factors that make soy the fastest growing wax on the market today. Soy wax
contains only natural ingredients and no cancer causing ingredients, and is 100
percent biodegradable. Easier for people with breathing problems too. It is
clean burning and non-toxic, it does not produce soot, it is safe around
children and pets, Soy wax is made from a renewable and sustainable resource of
American grown soybeans. They burn cooler a with steady cool flame. Soy wax
emits little to no smoke and no soot using zinc wicks, and burns up to twice as
long as paraffin which is a bi-product of the crude oil industry.