Are All Candles Created Equal?

August 15, 2017 1 Comment

Are All Candles Created Equal?

The soft warm glow of a candle can set the tone for a romantic evening, movie night or can add a blissful and welcoming ambiance to any room no matter what the occasion is.

But not all candles are created equal.

When it comes to candles, just about any one will do, right? Well, not quite. So here is the scoop!

The most common candles and the least expensive are ones made of Paraffin.

Paraffin wax starts off as the sludge at the bottom of a barrel of crude oil. Even asphalt is extracted before Paraffin in the refining process! Have I piqued your interest yet? Well let's go on, this black sludge, already filled with numerous toxins, undergoes bleaching and treatment by carcinogens toluene and/or benzene.  

Pondering facts about Paraffin;

* Non-Renewable
* By-product of fossil fuels ie. crude oil
* The smoke emited is equivalent to inhaling exhaust fumes
* Creates a large amount of black sticky soot responsible for health problems
* Polymers (plastic resins) are added to raise the melting point and improve burning  
* Paraffin candles are known to drip
* Often scented with toxic artificial fragrance (Synthetic fragrances have also been shown to contain hormone disruptors which are linked to abnormal cell reproduction and may result in tumor growth.)
* Bleached and dyed with toxic colorants (None of the components in the dye is required to be listed in the California Proposition 65 list of cancer causing agents)   

 The final result is a innocent looking candle which is highly toxic (and environmentally unfriendly) that literally poisons the air you breathe.

So are Soy candles, a better choice that Paraffin candles?  Well, no not really, and here is why;

More than 90% of soy is genetically modified! GM soy crops are heavily sprayed with toxic pesticides, causing harm to both the harvesters and the soil. So if you are buying soy candles, chances are you are supporting the production of GMO’s–which devastate our environment and our health.

Pondering facts about Soy

* Soy products are commonly Genetically Modified, bleached and hydrogenated
* Aesthetically, soy wax is not pretty and candles often develop bumps and lesions while burning, so it requires the addition of other products
* Soy wax goes rancid without preservatives
* Toxic pesticides are often used on soy crops
* Soy candle makers are limited by the type of candle because the wax is so soft
* Requires large amounts of agricultural land and processing
* Often scented with artificial fragrances, so there is a good chance these fragrances contain the same hormone disruptors as Paraffin
* Soy wax is difficult to ship during hot weather because it will melt
* In the U.S., the term “pure” on a label means only 51% of an ingredient. Most soy candles on the market are not 100%  pure and contain a high percentage of poisonous paraffin
* May contain dye (None of the components in the dye is required to be listed in the California Proposition 65 list of cancer causing agents)

Now on to wicks!

One of the main concerns about candles, besides the wax, is the wick. Burning candles with lead-cored wicks is now known to cause lead poisoning, and there are similar concerns about zinc-cored wicks. Even though the National Candle Association of the U.S. voluntarily stopped using lead-cored wicks in 1974 because of risks with airborne lead, there are still many countries outside of North America that still produce candles using dangerous wicks.

Many candle wicks on the market today have a lead core, and burning them can lead to low-level lead exposure. Below are some of the effects they can cause;

* hypertension
* kidney disease
* irritability
* learning difficulties
* memory loss
* lethargy
* loss of appetite
* difficulty breathing
* Autism Spectrum Disorder

So, move over cotton lead wicks and make way for the wick that crackles! Which I will discuss later on.

Finally, what type of scent or non scent suits your mood or personality?

Ahhh...the sweet smell of petrochemicals!

One of the simplest, most unobtrusive ways to enhance your living space is to use a scented candle. However, one of the main problems with scented candles is the scent itself.

These are just a few facts on the topic of scent;

* The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, a coalition of over 100 groups seeking transparency about chemicals in cosmetics, commissioned independent laboratory tests that revealed 38 secret chemicals in 17 leading fragrances.
* "EWG" Environmental Working Group), explains that ingredients not in a product’s “hidden fragrance mixture” must be listed on the label, so makers disclose some chemicals but “lump others together in the generic category of ‘fragrance’.”
* Of the thousands of chemicals used in fragrances, most have not been tested for toxicity, alone or in combination. Many of these untested ingredients have been linked to allergies, migraines, and asthma symptoms
* Diethyl Phthalate,DEP a chemical solvent used as a fixative is a known endocrine disrupter, that interferes with hormone production and is found in 97 percent of Americans and linked to sperm damage in human epidemiological studies,it also can cause reproductive defects, obesity and insulin resistance in men and early puberty in girls
* Fragrance recipes are considered trade secrets so manufacturers are not required to disclose fragrance chemicals in the list of ingredients, so you have
no idea what chemicals you are subjecting yourself, family or pets to and how they can affect ones health.
* Even products marketed as "fragrance-free" or "unscented" may in fact contain fragrance along with a masking agent that prevents the brain from perceiving odor.
* Health Canada recently announced regulations banning six phthalates in children's toys (including DEP), but the use of DEP in cosmetics is unrestricted.
* The European Union restricts the use of many fragrance ingredients, including two common musks (nitromusks) and requires warning labels on products if they contain
any of 26 allergens commonly used as cosmetic fragrances.
* Laboratory experiments, individual fragrance ingredients have been associated with cancer and neurotoxicity among other adverse health effects.

So clearly, not just any candle will do !

Between what you want aesthetically, scent-wise, and what’s best for your health, it can be a bit of a challenge to find the best candle out there.

We’ve narrowed down what we think you should look for when purchasing your next candle. Yes, we are promoting our brand of candles and melts. But, I promise we will give you the facts, so you can make an educated decision.


Natures Air Purifier!

Who would believe there is a wax that can clean the air, reduce indoor pollutants, effectively reduce asthma, allergies, and hay fever. Beeswax releases negative ions when it burns.

Dust, dirt, pollen, pollutants, all carry a positive charge, and that is how they can be suspended in the air.

The negative ions released from burning beeswax negate the positive charge of air contaminants, and neutralize ions, they are then sucked back into the burning candle or fall to the ground.Many companies use this type of technology for their air purifiers and water filters.

* Non-hazardous
* Non-carcinogenic
* Solvent free
* Does not contain hazardous additives such as naphtha or naphthalene
* Can be shipped in all weather conditions because of its high melt point
* Considered pricier than other waxes

Coconut wax

Cold-pressed coconut oil comes from the fruit. The oil then sustains hydrogenation (a natural process) which is turned into coconut wax with a beautiful, creamy white consistency. The more we looked into the coconut oil used in the wax, the more we liked what we saw:

* Coconuts are considered a sustainable crop
* Eco friendly (high yield and crop renewal per acre)
* Coconut oil is obtained via a natural process.
* Burns a lot cooler which perfectly complements with different kinds of essential oils
* Burns longer than soy
* Coconut wax burns slowly and cleanly, and throws scent extremely well.
* Coconut wax has been overlooked by the candle industry because it is more expensive per pound. We don’t care: it's well worth it!
* The deforestation practices linked with palm oil production are not associated with the coconut industry, but we’re monitoring this situation and looking to develop a direct relationship with a coconut plantation in the near future.
* Hold a higher fragrance concentration
* Downside slightly more expensive

Wood Wicks

These wicks not only burn slower than traditional cotton wicks meaning more flame time for you, but they will crackle gently whilst they are burning.

* The wood wick produces a flame slightly larger than cotton wicks.
* If trimmed properly, a wood wick creates a cleaner burn with less soot residue on the sides of the jar.
* Never let the wick burn for longer than 4 hours. After 4 hours the wick will need re-trimming as the flame will begin to burn too large and this may discolor the wax and burn through the wax quicker.
To avoid this, always make sure your wick is trimmed correctly and extinguish the flame after 4 hours. You can use nail clippers to trim the wood.
* They smell great when not lit
* The main benefit is the hot throw wood wicks give.



Essential Oils and Natural Fragrances

Imagine a truly holistic aromatherapy candle that can combine a love of candlelight with the passion for a safe, Eco friendly environment for you and our planet, and you have our brand, Paw Melts.

Burning aromatherapy candles scented with pure essential oils is a wonderful way to add fragrance to a room. Not only does an aromatherapy candle smell nice, it can have therapeutic effects on the body and mind.

Essential oils are extracted from certain aromatic plants and are used by Aroma Therapists to promote emotional and physical well being. When a few drops of a particular plant essence is added to a candle, its powerful aroma molecules are diffused into the surrounding air as the wax melts. When inhaled, the fragrance can help soothe and revitalize.

Using scented candles in the home is a simple but effective way of influencing the mood of a room, to create a tranquil and harmonious environment without toxins.

Next time you are in the market to buy a candle ... think non-toxic! 




1 Response


April 03, 2017

Scary stuff. I didn’t realize. Thank you for this post.

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.