I have always been a sensitive soul (metaphorically and physically) and I’ll be honest hated scented candles until a few years ago. I used to find the scent would catch in my throat and I would want to gag, I think people thought I was being melodramatic, but now in my wise old age I know better it was all about the ingredients!
Most candles on the market are made from paraffin wax, paraffin is a petroleum waste product and has to be deodorized and chemically bleached before it can be made in to wax. (source http://www.anapsid.org/cnd/mcs/candles.html) When paraffin wax is burned it creates highly toxic benzene and toluene (known carcinogens).
“Other toxic chemicals that may be present in the paraffin mixture and released through burning include: Acetone, Trichlorofluoromethane, Carbon Disulfide, 2-Butanone, Trichloroethane, Trichloroethene, Carbon Tetrachloride, Tetrachloroethene, Chlorobenzene, Ethylbenzene, Styrene, Xylene, Phenol, Cresol, Cyclopentene. Some of the toxins are found in other products such as paint, laquer and varnish removers– that’s potent and powerful stuff!” https://keeperofthehome.org/toxins-in-candles-sad-but-true/
“Petro-soot from paraffin candles gives off the same soot as the exhaust of a diesel engine, and is considered just as dangerous as second hand smoke, causing problems from headaches to lung cancer. Paraffin fumes have been found to cause tumors in the kidneys and liver of lab animals.” https://nourishingourchildren.org/2011/12/13/candles/
Many candles have wicks which contain heavy metals such as lead “A candle with a lead-core wick releases five times the amount of lead considered hazardous for children and exceeds EPA pollution standards for outdoor air, says the CPSC, which is why they banned lead wicks in 2003. Exposure to high amounts of lead has been linked to hormone disruption, behavioral problems, learning disabilities, and numerous health problems.” https://www.greenamerica.org/green-living/are-your-candles-toxic
Knowing this it’s not surprising how my body reacted to candles! It is only in the last few years that I have given soy candles a go and I actually thoroughly enjoy the soft scent they offer. The wax comes from Soybeans a natural, renewable source grown widely. A candle made from soy wax burns cleaner with little soot released as the candle burns, with paraffin candles often create a significant amount of black soot that collects on the jar, as well as on your walls and other surfaces of the home.
Soy candles typically last longer than a paraffin candle of the same size, according to Planet Green.
Have I convinced you to convert to Soy Candles yet? On another day I’ll tackle the Essential Oil vs Fragrance Oil in candles!