Paraffin is the major ingredient in most conventional candles and is considered a sludge waste produced from the petroleum industry. It releasees carcinogenic (the ability to cause cancer) chemicals when burned. The soot and fumes are similar to that released from a diesel engine and can be just as dangerous as second hand cigarette smoke. There are documentation that have linked candles to many serious respiratory issues like asthma and severe allergies.
“For a person who lights a candle every day for years or just uses them frequently, inhalation of these dangerous pollutants drifting in the air could contribute to the development of health risks like cancer, common allergies and even asthma,” said lead researcher and chemistry professor Dr. Ruhullah Massoudi.
Scented Candles can also contain lead or lead cores inside the wick, which relates dangerous amounts of lead into your home through the candles soot. Candle wicks are suppose to make from pure paper or cotton, but a university of Michigan study in the late 90s found that over 30 percent of candles in the USA still released lead into the air, in amounts higher that is considered safe by the EPA. Legislation was passed in the USA to ban lead in wicks in 2003 but it is still present in some candles which make their way onto store shelves particularly candles being imported from China or Taiwan. Our friends in Canada unfortunately do not have a ban on lead in candle wicks.
Two other particularly toxic chemicals are Benzene and Touluene. These are found in the snotty residue from burning candles. Benzene is cancer causing and Toluene affects the central nervous system. Artificial scents and colors may be irritants to some people and or trigger a more severe allergic reactions. Other toxic Cehmicles that may be present in the paraffin mixture and released through burning are Acetone, Trichlorofluorometheane, Carbon Disulfide, 2-Butanone, Trichloroethane, Carbon Tetrachloride, Chlorobenzene, Ethylbenzene, Styrene, Xylene, Phenol, Cresol, Cycloptene. Some of these toxins are found in many other products which include paints, lacquer, varnish remover, (those are potent and powerful things! )
You can ask questions, research, look at labels… or skip candles completely!
A Young Living Starter Kit offers you an Ultra Sonic Diffuser, (isn’t hot, no melty mess) and 11 Essential oils to choose a scent that will support your body functions as well as smell lovely. Click here to get your own today!
The better alternatives
With the use of defusing, you can really personalize and even brand your own recipes and smells to offer. There are some defusers that can last for hours without needing to be refilled.
Young Living has a entire collection of holiday oils that smell amazing and offer health benefits.
Although there is no cut-and-dry replacement of the magical process of a kid blowing spit and germs all over the cake you just slaved over, there are a couple of unique ideas that will prevent additional “kid” moisture, stop the use of chemical laced candles, and keep a little bit of the magic.
- Make your own Bees Wax Birthday Candles – Check it out here
- Grab a balloon and fill it with 2 tablespoons of rainbow or chocolate sprinkles. Fill the balloon up with a pump. Have the special person pop the balloon over the cake at the end of the song. Don’t recommend doing this over carpet. Outside is best.
- My favorite… Fruit Candles! Victoria from A Subtle Revelry has created a fun way to create unique and amazing candles. Dip the wicks in Bees Wax to completely eliminate toxins. Use a skewer to poke a hole in your choice of fresh fruit. Insert wick and you are done.
Still want to use traditional style candles? Check out this starter kit. This is great fun to do with the kids. Just remember to practice safety.