It is lovely to burn a scented candle at home or to eat dinner by candlelight. Unfortunately most candles bought are made from paraffin wax and studies have shown that there are health risks of burning paraffin wax candles. Paraffin is a by-product of the petroleum industry and when burnt it releases some of the same toxins produced when petrol is burnt running a car. It also releases black soot, which may contain toxic chemicals such as naphthalene, methyl ethyl ketone, toluene and benzene and goes into the air you breathe as well as settling on the walls of your home.
The risks don’t end there. Even the wicks of some candles can cause issues in that they may contain a lead or metal core that again, releases toxic emissions when burnt. In addition, many scented candles contain artificial fragrances, which may release phthalates when burnt.
Fortunately there are good alternatives including soy and beeswax. Soy wax is considered the most environmentally friendly candle because it is made from a renewable resource. It is cleaner burning with little soot and no pollutants released from burning. Soy also tends to be longer burning (up to 50% longer than the equivalent paraffin wax candle) due to its cooler burning temperature. However, due to the lower melting temperature, soy wax is mainly used in container candles such as glass jars (one of the benefits is that you can reuse the containers for tea lights after you have burnt the original candle).
Unfortunately many soy candles are still made using metal wicks and artificial fragrances however, if you choose your candles wisely, you can easily avoid both and burn candles with cotton wicks and naturally scented with essential oils.
In addition if your soy candle doesn’t come in a container, check the wax composition as it may be blended with paraffin to make it harder which means it stands alone (ie doesn’t need a container).
At Vitale we have just discovered Eco Aroma candles. Naturally these candles are made from soy wax instead of paraffin. Even better, the fragrances are from natural essential oils and are just divine. Ambience is our current favorite in the shop and we are burning the candle or using the corresponding essential oil.
Sometimes it feels like the whole world is toxic – just living is toxic! Of course I exaggerate but I have found that it is about being aware and making better choices and choosing soy, vegetable or beeswax candles one of those little changes that you can make that all add up to a cleaner home and body.Twitter It!
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