Candles - Harmful Ingredients to Avoid

As a lover of candles, and a collector of many years, I am only recently learning about the scary truth that comes with burning them.

There are many studies debating whether or not burning candles can be dangerous. The conclusion: though the ingredients found in typical store-bought candles can produce harmful toxins, there’s no evidence of whether or not there are enough of the ingredients to become a health threat.

So, I’ve decided to be proactive, learn what ingredients to avoid, and avoid the potential risk all together. 

Without further ado, here is a list of the most harmful ingredients found in candles, and why they are likely a threat to our health:

  • Metal Core Wicks
    • Candles produced in North America are not legally allowed to manufacture candles containing metal core wicks. But, if your candle says, “Made in (Anywhere other than North America)”, this could be an indication that a metal core wick has been imported. These wicks can potentially hold traces of lead, and are thought to be capable of causing lead poisoning if enough of the fumes are inhaled.
  • Paraffin Wax
    • Burning paraffin wax releases a list of potentially harmful chemicals, such as toluene.
    • I wrote an entire blog post about the truth behind paraffin wax, read more here.
  • Fragrance Oils/Perfumes
    • Burning artificially scented candles can release carcinogens such as formaldehyde (this is a fancy way of saying they are capable of releasing cancer-causing agents into the air).
    • Synthetic fragrance can contain up to 5000 different chemicals, which can result in symptoms such as allergy symptoms, asthma attacks, headaches, dizziness and respiratory tract infections.
  • Artificial Dyes/Colours
    • As soon as we light an artificially fragranced and dyed candle, we are releasing all of these chemical compounds into our air. These candles are the largest cause of indoor air pollution.

Naturelle candles are made with cotton wicks, 100% natural soy wax with soy plant-based additives, 100% essential oils, and no colours. Morning Mimosa is orange because the sweet orange essential oil used to fragrance it was extracted from orange peels, not because of any artificially coloured additives. 

Whether these ingredients are directly harmful to human health or not, sticking to 100% natural candles that are hand-poured in small batches eliminates any potential risks all together.

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