The Maids of Portland, Maine

Friday, October 23, 2015

Toxins in Candles: Sad, But True

There’s nothing like the gentle flicker of a candle flame, and a warm, sweet scent filling your home to evoke feelings of peace and wellness.  Except when that candle is actually filling your home with toxic chemicals and contributing to indoor air pollution.

Paraffin is the major ingredient in most candles and is a sludge waste product from the petroleum industry. It releases carcinogenic chemicals when burned. The soot/fumes are similar to that released from a diesel engine and can be as dangerous as second hand smoke. This can contribute to serious respiratory issues like asthma.

Scented candles may have lead or lead cores in the wick, which releases dangerous amounts of lead into your home through the candle soot. In 2003 the USA passed legislation to ban lead wicks, but they still find their way to store shelves from China, Taiwan and Canada. Two particularly toxic chemicals, benzene and toluene, are also found in the sooty residue from burning candles. Benzene is cancer-causing and toluene affects the central nervous system.

The very best options for candles are beeswax candles. They are absolutely pure and burn clean. It has a light scent of honey and they come in a range of color options.

Courtesy of: Keeper of the Home

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