Potential Health Side Effects From Toxic Scented Candles

Updated: May 22

Toxic Indoor Air Pollution

As lovely as burning candles are they could be hazardous to your health. Candles can have a negative impact on indoor air quality as they emit trace amounts of organic chemicals. However the biggest concern has been with lead wicks, burning lead wicks resulted in increased concentrations of lead in indoor air.

The Environmental Protection Agency has released reports about the dangers of scented candles, citing concerns about their paraffin, synthetic fragrances, lead wicks and contaminated oils. Candle wicks are supposed to be made from cotton or paper in the United States, but studies have shown that over a third contain heavy metals as well.

The last half of the 20 century saw several synthetic and chemically synthesized waxes including gels developed mainly for specialty candles. Two vegetable waxes, soya and palm were developed for commercial use in the late 1990s. Until the 1970s candle-wicks were made with a lead core. In 1974 the US Candle manufacturing industry voluntary agreed to stop production of lead containing candles. Despite this ban lead-wick candles were still on the market in the early 2000’s. Now candle-wicks are generally made of cotton although some wicks have other materials at the core. A thin strand of zinc, or a rigid strand of paper is sometimes used to make the wick stand up better.

Candle wax is made from harmful chemicals

Love scented and aromatherapy candles:

With the rise in popularity of candles in the past decade, candle-makers have begun scenting candles to overcome horrible smells. The vast majority of these candles are scented with fragrant oils. Most mass-produced scented candles have a negative impact on indoor air even when unlit. These are fragrances created in a laboratory – there is little that is ‘natural’ about them. Candle-makers prefer to use fragrant oils because they are considerably cheaper than essential oils and they are also typically less volatile. You can enjoy the aroma of scented candles without burning them if you use a candle warmer and let them melt. Use candles in glass containers, smaller candles will heat up faster and release the aroma quicker.

Paraffin Candles. The vast majority of candles sold are made from paraffin because it is the cheapest wax available. Paraffin costs around one-fiftieth of the price of 100% pure beeswax when bought in bulk. Unless a candle is otherwise labeled, it will be made from paraffin. That said, even candles labeled “beeswax” might contain up to 90% paraffin. Paraffin is a toxic, waste product from petroleum refining. This waste product is a grayish-black sludge that is bleached with 100% pure bleach (the bleach used in laundries is about 10%), creating billions of tones of dioxins. When burning paraffin candles, little tiny particles get into our lungs they can cause everything from coughing and wheezing to acute health issues like heart attacks. The discovery of paraffin revolutionized candle-making because it was cheap and readily available. This process of candle making is still used today. In short Paraffin candles are bad for indoor environment, scented with chemicals, too expensive to light every day.

Bee wax is not chemically treated

Beeswax candles. The fourth, and least common, wax used to make candles is beeswax. Pure beeswax costs around 50 times the price of bulk paraffin and 20 times the price of soy or palm oil wax. That said, beeswax is the most expensive wax in the world. Beeswax is made by bees to store honey, and is completely natural, it is used in the form it is harvested and not altered. It is not chemically treated and processed to create a wax. There are a couple of other qualities of beeswax that make it a superior wax for candle-making. The first is that beeswax has the highest melting point of any wax. Whereas you will often find that paraffin candles drip or drown the wick.

Organic Luxury Skincare in a Candle

In organic Forage Lotion Candles, the wax is replaced with organic; plant based nourishing oils “natural waxes”. The synthetic chemical scents, are replaced by freshly picked botanicals obtained from plants, and the metal wicks are replace with cotton core wicks.

Forage Lotion Candles are Chock-full of antioxidants, vitamins, essential fatty acids, minerals, and phytonutrients which double as skin nourishing oils without the BS (bad stuff) like phthalates, preservatives, petroleum, and toxic chemicals. Vegetable wax or soy-based wax, produce a cleaner burn without toxic chemical contamination. By burning organic candles instead of artificially scented ones, you’ll keep the air inside your house safe and rejuvenate your mind and body in the process.

Forage Lotion Candles burns cooler, cleaner, and 3X longer than traditional candles. Forge candles are also free of animal products, (certified vegan and cruelty-free), made with sustainably wild harvested botanicals.

Some things you may not know about candles. Almost everyone has a use for candles. Keep them in your car emergency kit, if you are stranded they could be used for light or even to keep you warm. The first time you light a new candle burn it long enough to completely burn the first layer of wax. This should prevent a tunnel forming near the wick. A smoking candle could be caused by to long of wick, wicks should be about 5-7mm for even burning. When you blow out a candle it produces soot and smoke. Using a candle snuffer is a better idea, alternate choice is to use something inflammable to dip the burning wick into the liquid wax to put it out.