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ARE PARAFFIN CANDLES REALLY TOXIC? 0
ARE PARAFFIN CANDLES REALLY TOXIC?

One day, during a private meeting, a statement was made  

"I threw all paraffin candles out of the house because they are toxic!" Whoo! Seriously???

Such a bomb requires further exploration of the subject, which of course I did.

 

Relax, it will not hurt ... There is a light in the tunnel;)

I derive knowledge from, among others, this scientific PDF document   which, although published in 2001, is extremely up to date. You can learn many interesting things from it, but maybe first a small introduction that will show that there is hope;) There are other methods for a warm atmosphere in the interior ...

 

What are the candles made of? How do they differ from each other? 

Candles are made of very many raw materials. The most traditional and popular is  paraffin , which is a by-product produced from waste products in the process of gasoline fractionation from crude oil. This is not a very encouraging description, but unfortunately in details it does not get any better ...

There are also candles of vegetable origin such as, for example, soy candles , which are made of soy wax, which is a renewable source of raw material. Most soybean crops are in the USA. Soy wax burns 30-50% longer than paraffin and, at the same time, does not heat up so much.

Another type of candle, produced from renewable raw materials, is a  candle made of beeswax. Such a candle will burn up to 3 times longer than a paraffin candle and twice as long as a soy candle. In addition, even without perfumes, it has a delicate, pleasant smell.

 

The harmfulness of paraffin candles results from 3 main facts:

1. Lead in the wick

Although legal regulations forbid it, lead wicks are often added in the wicks of the candles to give the flame a higher temperature so the candle burns "better". Wicks of this type are commonly used in candles imported from the PRC and Hong Kong, where other regulations apply. Unfortunately, as these candles are extremely attractive in price, they are often hosted in our homes, threatening our health. According to the study of the United States Environmental Protection Agency, candles with lead wicks that raise the level of lead concentration in the air, can generate health risks. The fact about lead is, that it does not excrete and accumulates in the human body . The most dangerous it is for small children, because babies can absorb up to 50% of lead from food, dust or contaminated water, while adults only absorb 5-10%.

2. Paraffin - what is released when it is burned?

Not only the lead vapors are harmful, but even if the paraffin candle does not have a lead wick, there is still a risk associated with the separated fumes from the paraffin itself. Paraffin candles are often a serious carcinogenic risk while burning, because in the process of burning paraffin, among others, acetaldehyde, formaldehyde, toluene, benzene and acrolein arise, which are particularly harmful to the lungs.

3. Vapour soot

The soot from paraffin candles also has no mercy for the lungs (it's the black residue on the furniture). Soot, being in a volatile state is inhaled by us, and its smallest particles get deep into the lungs and bronchi. According to the American Lung Association, soot contains 11 documented toxins, 2 of which are known for their carcinogenic nature (toluene and benzene). This is especially dangerous for asthmatics, but also for the elderly and children. 

 

Knowledge is a power, and what shall be done with all this power?

After reading this information, I nowadays look completely differently at paraffin candles. I have not lit any of them since then. Now they are only decorations, and I burn only candles from plant waxes; 

What do you think about it?

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