8 Reasons to Avoid Paraffin Candles

Did you know that the majority of candles on the market today are toxic, can negatively impact your endocrine system (hormones) and also considered to be carcinogenic (cause cancer)?

Did you know that the paraffin candles in your home are some of the culprits? Wouldn’t it be nice to have a healthy alternative?

What’s wrong with paraffin wax you ask? Why are so many candles are made from it if its toxic? Those are two great questions.

Since the mid-1800’s candles have been made from Paraffin wax which is derived from petroleum. Petroleum is made up of straight-chain hydrocarbons, which combust to produce that dark soot that stains your walls and can lead to respiratory problems. Studies have shown that paraffin wax produces numerous toxic carcinogens and emits harmful vapors into the air when heated. One particular study conducted at South Carolina State University found that long-term exposure to certain types of candles lead to poor air quality and pose a health hazard to a home’s inhabitants. These toxins are unsafe and have been said to cause cancer.

Unfortunately, the majority of candles on the market today are made with paraffin wax. Why you ask?

Paraffin wax is much less expensive than its healthy alternatives like soy wax. Paraffin wax creates a strong scent throw (ability to smell the fragrance oil when heated) and has a nice texture and glossy finish when combined with other toxic chemicals.

I’m willing to bet, if you knew your candles were toxic, you wouldn’t buy them, would you?

Some of the most common compounds found in paraffin candles include:

  • Microcrystallines – Improves the texture of the wax
  • Polyethylenes – Creates that nice glossy finished texture
  • Vybar – A polymer that raises the melting point of paraffin wax which allows the wax to blend evenly with fragrance oils and dyes
  • Mineral oi – creates an attractive marbled effect in the wax
  • Polysorbate 80 – This compound helps the wax and fragrance oils blend well to give the candle a nice even scent throw, allowing you to smell it when its burning

Paraffin candles released undesired chemicals such as alkanes, alkenes, and toluene, all of which are toxic to humans. Inhaling these compounds over a long period can increase the risk of developing chronic conditions such as common allergies, asthma, and even certain types of cancer.

What is the best healthy alternative to paraffin wax?

Soy wax.

Soy wax is a vegetable wax derived from soybeans. Unlike petroleum-based paraffin wax, soy wax is a renewable resource and biodegradable.  Studies conducted by South Carolina State University, found that candles derived from soy wax were not found to release any of the pollutants given off by paraffin. It’s time to kiss those black walls goodbye!

What makes soy wax so great?

Well…many reasons. First, soy wax has a lower melting point, which is good news for you. This means your candles will burn cooler and last longer than a paraffin candle of the same size. Secondly, they hold scent well which means you might not get as strong of a scent, but you will still be able to smell your lovely candle. And thirdly, if spilled, your candle will clean up much easier than a paraffin candle with just some warm soapy water.

So, are you ready to convert to soy, the healthy alternative?

I know for me is wasn’t a question at all. If you’re anything like me, your health matters a great deal to you. Sure, soy candles are more expensive, but aren’t you worth it? As the saying goes, you wither pay now or you pay later when your health deteriorates.

One last Consideration

Keep in mind that not all soy candles are made equally. There are other considerations when deciding what brand of candles to commit to.

While soy wax is safe, some companies use toxic fragrance oils containing phthalates (which make the scent stronger) and unsafe dyes and wicks containing lead and zinc. Lead wicks were banded in the US in 2003, however other countries haven’t been as strict.

When it comes to fragrance oils, I’d only recommend you invest in candles that are made with phthalate-free fragrance and essential oils. This way you can be sure they are non-toxic and the purest candles on the market.

When considering a wick, you want it to either be made from hemp or cotton. These are generally safe to burn and produce no pollutants. No matter what type of wick you use, be sure to trim it between each use to 1/4 ” this will keep your candle burning evenly, prevent buildup of residue around the top of the candle and extends the hours of enjoyment you get out of it.

Lastly, now that you’re ready to have non-toxic candles in your home, I want you to be mindful of candles that are being burned at your friends and family’s homes, at restaurants you frequent, hotels you stay at, spas you relax in and so on. Often, they are made from paraffin wax and contain phthalates and other harmful chemicals that pose hidden dangers to your health with long-term exposure.

If you’re a fan of candlelight, and you wouldn’t have read this far if you weren’t, by now I hope you are ready to choose non-toxic, healthy candles, and I know just the company for you! Take a look at our non-toxic candle shop for a variety of scents your bound to fall in love with and better yet, keep you healthy.

Click Here to shop for the healthy candles on the market. Keep you and your family safe.

3 thoughts on “8 Reasons to Avoid Paraffin Candles

    • Dawn Depke says:

      Thank you Linda, we appreciate the feedback. We noticed you love the lemon verbena candle and reed and your monthly VIP subscription box.
      We appreciate all of the feedback.

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