More About Paraffin Toxicity

Paraffin is a byproduct of petroleum, a non-renewable resource. And while it might seem obvious to some, many people don’t realize that inhaling the fumes from paraffin candles is not good for your health. According to a study done at South Carolina State University in 2009, the chemicals found in the fumes of paraffin candles are linked to cancer, birth defects, and such respiratory ailments as asthma––especially when there are many of them burning in enclosed, unventilated spaces like restaurants, churches, or a room in your home.

After it’s scraped out of oil refineries, paraffin wax is usually: bleached by adding dioxin; texturized with acrolyn (a known carcinogen); and then mixed with animal-based stearic acid (a nasty byproduct of the meatpacking slaughterhouses) to harden it so that it can be made into candles. When paraffin candles burn, they emit black soot and toxic fumes—similar in chemistry to diesel exhaust—containing poisonous chemicals such as benzene, toluene, naphthalene, tri-decane, tetra-decane, penta-decane, and hexadecane. Unfortunately, the FDA doesn’t require candle makers to list the ingredients in candles, so you never really know what you’re burning.

While many conscious consumers have made the switch to candles made of palm wax or beeswax or soy wax, the candles currently burning at most restaurants, churches, temples, etc. are most likely made from paraffin wax. There are two reasons for this: price and knowledge. Regarding price, paraffin candles have historically been much cheaper than their non-toxic alternatives. But now there is GoodLight, and we offer discounts to restaurants and churches so that they can switch to clean-burning candles and only spend literally pennies more per candle. The other reason--knowledge--is something you can help us with. Please help educate the managers and servers at your favorite restaurants, and the candle buyer at your church or temple, so that we can all breathe a little easier. Want to know more? Check out these links....

South Carolina State University study on paraffin candles

Fox News article on SCSU study

MSNBC News article on SCSU study

German study on paraffin oil used in lamps

EPA report on candles as indoor air pollutants

Canadian EPA report on paraffin

European study on candles' effect on air quality in churches

 

 

 

 

 

 

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We at Kula love to burn GoodLight candles. We have used their pillars, votives, and tealights in our space, and the palm wax candles always give us exactly what we are looking for: Natural, warm light that comes from a good place and good people.

-Nikki Villela,
Kula Yoga Williamsburg,
Brooklyn, NY