What’s Toxic About Candles?

Candles are most often associated with relaxation and romance. You see them lit in spas, in homes, and in bathrooms everywhere. The trouble is that people are usually unaware of what they are burning when they light candles.

What's Toxic About Candles?
What’s Toxic About Candles?

So what’s toxic about candles? There is a long list of pollutants and toxins emitted from the average candle. Only Green’s blog states: “A standard paraffin wax candle can give off things such as benzene, formaldehyde, soot and lead, just to name a few. Paraffin is simply a waste product of the petroleum industry, used most commonly in candles for its white, waxy texture.” Paraffin doesn’t burn for very long, so many candles often contain a lead-soaked paper cotton wick to increase the burning time.

While your candle is burning, not only are there chemical toxins filling the air because of the wax, the lead from the wick is also polluting the room.

There are healthier choices in the candle industry, including beeswax and vegetable based soy. Both of these substances provide a clean and long-lasting burn. These two waxes have naturally long burning times, so they are commonly made with lead-free wicks. Just be sure that you get 100% beeswax or soy, and that they haven’t been diluted with paraffin or bleach.


Honey Candles Beeswax Essentials Tin Kootenay Forest

If you’re looking to freshen the air with something, you might also consider diffusing some essential oils instead of using candles. But please don’t use toxic air fresheners as an alternative!

Do you use candles?

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3 thoughts on “What’s Toxic About Candles?”

  1. Good post. Did you hear from the National Candle Association? They contacted me twice saying I was stating incorrect information. Let me know if they responded to yours, okay?

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