Did you know that paraffin candles, the kind most often sold in stores today, contain a “toxic stew” of paraffin, colorants, synthetically scented oils and lead wicks? All of which can be detrimental to your overall health. Paraffin is a petrochemical, “the final refining product extracted after obtaining asphalt, bitumen or blacktop. This grayish-black sludge is decolorized with 100 percent strength bleach, creating toxic dioxins,” dioxins are the byproducts of this bitumen, and are characterized by the EPA to increase your risk of cancer. Paraffin is then further processed using more carcinogenic chemicals, tinted with synthetic colorants, some of which have been banned by the FDA in cosmetics due to causing cancer. Finally, these candles are artificially scented with chemicals producing chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs.) Wow, I think I just got a headache from the ingredient list alone!
As more of us use candles for relaxation and well-being, health officials are finding that the microscopic soot particles from paraffin candles, which penetrate deep into the lungs, are responsible for aggravating respiratory illnesses, especially for children who have faster respiration rates. You know the black marks that candles can leave on your walls; those are the same soot particles causing damage to your lungs. Other food for thought, nine toxins in the air are the limit set to be a cancer risk – paraffin emits eleven toxins.
On the plus side, there are healthy alternatives! Beeswax and soya candles do not have the health risks associated with paraffin candles. Beeswax is nontoxic, renewable and naturally aromatic. Beeswax candles are also known to emit negative ions, which promote positive feelings of wellbeing. Soya candles are made from a natural, sustainable vegetable-based wax. These candles can be scented with pure, essential oils, which then further enhance positive results to your health. And, that is a good thing for you and your family. As consumers become more aware of the health consequences associated with the use of burning petrochemical-based candles, healthy soya and beeswax candles are becoming more available.
So the next time you sit down to relax with the use of a candle, think of your overall health and burn beeswax or soya candles!