Your love of candles could be harming the environment, as well as causing damage to your body, due to the dangerous toxins they release.
In a positive move, earlier this year, the UK Government said that candle manufacturers will be told to reduce emissions in their scented candles.
Thankfully not all candles are harmful – so it’s good to get to grips with what’s what. Why are candles dangerous? It all pretty much comes down to one ingredient.
Most scented candles contain paraffin wax, which is derived from petroleum, coal or shale oil. When it’s burnt, paraffin wax releases toxic compounds into the air, including acetone, benzene, and toluene – all known carcinogens.
So not only are they damaging the environment but our health, too.
One study at South Carolina State University found that paraffin wax candles give off harmful fumes linked to lung cancer and asthma, although researchers said it would take years of regular use for it to be a significant health risk.
Sadly, the bad news doesn’t stop there. Paraffin candles also produce a fair bit of soot – the black stuff caused from flickering flames – and when the soot is airborne it can be inhaled.
These particles can find their way into the deepest depth of the lungs, as well as the lower respiratory tract and alveoli, according to a study published in MSD Manual – and this doesn’t sound too healthy.
Despite the risks, the largest Candle brands tend to use paraffin because it’s cheaper than other types of wax.
It also helps to create a stronger-smelling fragrance than natural waxes.
When scented candles are burned, they give off tiny particles, so small that you could fit a thousand of them across a single human hair.
The problem with particles this small is that they can get into the bloodstream, and they have been associated with both short- and long-term health problems, including asthma and cardiovascular disease.
Anyone who burns a scented candle, or is near a scented candle, could be a risk of inhaling the particles emitted.
The chemicals released from paraffin candles can be especially harmful to people with respiratory conditions, such as asthma.
Scented paraffin candles could cause people with asthma to cough, wheeze or even have a potentially life-threatening asthma attack as strong scents from perfumed products could be a trigger for an estimated 2.5million people with asthma in the UK.
We strongly recommend to burn Natural Wax candles with essential oils.
Natural WaX the HealTHy Alternative
Are all Candles toxic ?
The short answer is no, which will be music to a lot of people’s ears – the trick is to opt for natural candles, made from renewable resources.
Natural wax candles such as Soy Wax are a great alternative as they don’t contain toxic pollutants and produce significantly less soot than a paraffin product.
These candles do not burn as hot as paraffin wax candles, but they burn slower and so will usually last around 30-50% longer.
It’s worth pointing out that while soy candles might seem like an eco-friendly option, they are still a by-product of the soybean industry – which has growing concerns around deforestation and its use of pesticides and fertilisers.
Beeswax candles are another option. They can help clean the air while they burn as it’s said they release negative ions – which clears pollen, mold spores, bacteria and viruses.
They also tend to burn for longer than both paraffin and soy candles.
Although – as the name suggests – these candles would not be suitable for vegans.
Our Proprietary wax blend is made made from vegetables, and tend to release way fewer particles into the air when they burn than any of the wax on the market.
Our wax contains
Rapeseed oil and Coconut Oil and ...
It’s also important to be aware of how candles are made to smell nice.
Natural fragrances are created with essential oils – derived from plants and flowers – whereas synthetic fragrances are man-made, usually from petroleum-based chemicals. This means you’re once again exposed to dangerous toxins.
Chris, founder of organic candle company Scently , said: ‘For essential oils, there are no dangers (as long as you don’t inhale them in their concentrated form).
‘Once natural oils are inhaled into the body they re-modulate themselves and work in a friendly way.’
Scently - Candles like Nature intended