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The Dangers of Paraffin candles

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 exposures.

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 disease.

 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.

Most candles on the market made from paraffin may also contain other chemical additives in the dyes and fragrances that can be toxic when inhaled.

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 companies?

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 center!
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.