Can Your Candles Make You Sick?

Are candles toxic?  The answer is yes and no, depending on the type of candle you are burning.

Candles are a popular way to create a warm, cozy atmosphere in any space. They come in a variety of scents and colors, making them a versatile home accessory. However, not all candles are created equal, and some may even be hazardous to your health. Let’s explore the potential dangers of burning candles and discuss a safer alternative.

That new candle might smell great, but is it endangering your health?? Many candles are made from paraffin, a petroleum byproduct. Paraffin candles release toxic chemicals into the air, including benzene, toluene, and formaldehyde. These chemicals can cause various health problems, including respiratory issues, asthma, and even cancer. Paraffin candles’ soot can also damage your home’s electrical appliances and ductwork.
“Burning an aromatherapy candle made of paraffin is similar to preparing a healthy drink of fresh-squeezed juice and adding a shot of gasoline,” says Eric Johnson of Candleworks.
But it’s not just the wax that can be harmful. Older candles may include a lead-core wick, which can release lead into the air when burned. Lead is a toxic metal that can cause a range of health problems, including developmental delays and learning disabilities.

What’s a Candle Lover to Do?

If you’re a candle lover, what can you do? When shopping for candles, it’s important to read the labels and look for products that are free from paraffin and lead. Look for candles made from natural, sustainable materials like soy wax or beeswax with cotton wicks. Soy wax is made from soybean oil, a plant-based resource. It’s biodegradable and basically CO2-neutral. Soy candles can help you create the atmosphere you want in a safe, uplifting way.

While candles can be a great way to create a cozy atmosphere in your home, it’s important to be mindful of the potential health hazards they can pose. By choosing candles made from natural, sustainable materials like soy wax or beeswax, you can enjoy the ambiance of candles while also prioritizing your health and the health of your home.

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