Danger from Everyday Candles?

Did you know that most candles are made from the sludge in the bottom of a barrel of oil which is bleached and texturized with a chemical called acrolein?

They’re called paraffin candles and burning one puts all the same horrible toxins and carcinogens (cancer causing agents) into the air in your home that burning diesel fuel in your home would.

The National Candle Association estimates that more than 7 million people in the US alone burn candles every year.

By Gary B.
But testing by the EPA has confirmed that those candles, and the smoke and soot they give off, contain several dangerous chemicals in significant quantities. These chemicals include known or probable carcinogens, neurotoxins and reproductive toxins.

The American Lung Association also warns that burning paraffin candles can emit toxins (in measurable amounts) into your home’s air.

It might shock you to learn that after burning just a few paraffin candles in your home, the overall effect on the quality of the air in your home could be worse than the air in major cities like Los Angeles!

Not only is your health affected, but the health of your pets and children as well.

Cathy Flanders who has been at the forefront of addressing health and safety issues involving candles says, “With the current ‘candle-craze’ and increased candle burning in homes, expectant Moms need to be aware of the fact that the emissions from some candles are toxic, reproductive toxins, neuro-toxins and/or carcinogens. This has been a growing cause for concern for the EPA and children’s health agencies.”

And it might hit your pocket book soon too. Not only is the price of oil spiraling out of control, but you might have a nasty surprise the next time you go to renew your homeowners insurance.

The NIA Group (Insurance and Financial Services) lists the following problems with paraffin candles in an article on their website:

1) Reduces the internal air quality in your home.

2) Damage by particulate deposits on interior and exterior walls, carpets, furniture, appliances, window treatments, floors and other surfaces.

3) Contributes to health problems from inhaling particulate matter or ingesting harmful chemicals.

4) Spews hazardous chemicals that are either in the paraffin wax, the wick, or are present when paraffin wax is burned….Acetone, Benzene, Trichlorofluoromethane, Carbon Disulfide, 2-Butanone, Trichloroethane, Trichloroethene, Carbon Tetrachloride, Tetrachloroethene, Toluene, Chlorobenzene, Ethylbenzene, Styrene, Xylene, Phenol, Cresol, Cyclopentene and Lead

They go on to say…

“Another surprise is that the candle-making industry is not required to tell consumers about the ingredients used in their products, including when a wick is used which contains a lead core.”

No one knows for sure if paraffin candles cause cancer, but there are at least 4 cancer-causing chemicals associated with paraffin candles.

The EPA lists these chemicals on their website:

1) Benzene (EPA classification as Group A, known human carcinogen).

2) Carbon Tetrachloride (EPA classification as Group B2 probable human carcinogen).

3) Trichloroethane (EPA classification as Group C, possible human carcinogen).

4) Toluene (EPA classification as Group B2 probable human carcinogen).

Would you burn animal fat in your home?

Most of us would answer an emphatic “No!” or “Yuck!” to that question, but like something straight out of a horror movie, you might react in horror to realize that you probably are burning animal fat in your home when you burn paraffin candles.

That’s because many paraffin candles contain large amounts of animal fats to give them a more textured or rustic look.

So what’s the alternative?

Believe it or not, the answer comes from soybeans.

The soy plant produces a waxy substance that not only burns cooler, but can burn up to 50% longer than paraffin wax.

Since soy wax is derived from plants, it‚Äôs a renewable resource that’s a pleasure for candle makers to work with.

Some of the surprising benefits of soy candles include:

* Burn with no toxins, carcinogens or choking soot.
* Burn up to 50% longer than paraffin candles.
* Cruelty-free, contain no animal fats.
* Non-toxic, biodegradable, derived from a renewable resource.
* Cleans up easily with soap and hot water.
* Better for the environment.
* Use no nasty chemicals to release fragrance.
* Supports the American farmer – not foreign oil.

As more and more people learn about the harmful effects of burning paraffin candles in their homes, they’re substituting soy candles with surprising results.

Karen Key, a mother of three in Washington state, had this to say, “I’m asthmatic and when I burn paraffin candles in my home, or get around smoke or perfumy scents, my airway closes down and I start to panic. So I was more than a little nervous when a friend lit a scented soy candle in front of me. I have to say I’m completely amazed. Shocked is a better word. With soy candles I now have no problem breathing and I can finally enjoy the beauty and magic of candles in my home once again!”

So the next time you want to create a warm, inviting, and romantic atmosphere in your home, don’t destroy your home Рor your health, choose all-natural soy candles as a healthy alternative.

To learn more about the dangers of paraffin candles you can go to any of the following websites:


To reach the author or SoyCandleMaker, learn more about soy candles or start your own fun and highly profitable soy candle making business go to:

“The most fun you’ll have making money!”

You can also download a free ebook on the topic at:

6 thoughts on “Danger from Everyday Candles?

  1. Gayle allyn


    Good info! I have been using the “Party Lite” candles, and other similiar types and am worried that they are not so good for my family. Do you know if they are a parafin candle? I do know that they are an oil base.

    Thank you

  2. holly

    Hello ,i just wanted to let you know that party light candles are 100% parafin .and i guess they are not all made in the usa so some may have different chemicals.

    thanks 🙂

  3. KB

    I’ve come to find out that there is quite a difference between soy candles, soy based candles, 100% natural candles and all natural candles. The only candles I’ll buy now are 100% natural, hand poured soy candles. I recently purchased an “All natural” candle at a local craft fair – it was quite expensive. Then I saw another crafter who was selling 100% Natural, Hand Poured Soy Candles. They were comparable in price, yet they looked and smelled better. The 100% Natural Hand Poured Soy Candles were from Tomslitehouse – they were wonderful! The All Natural were from a place called Wick It Good – I found out they were made with Beeswax and PARAFFIN – he actually had the nerve to tell me that a candle made with paraffin was all natural – what a load of crap! He wouldn’t take the candle I purchased back – even though he had lied to me – it wasn’t worth taking him to court – but I almost took him to Judge Judy! I did wind up burning that candle – OUTSIDE – the jar got all black and it burned horribly – the Tomslitehouse candle burned completely and cleanly! Amazing! The difference in the quality was simply amazing! I will never buy a candle from anyplace else! The people at Tomslitehouse told me to make sure I ask what a soy based candle is mixed with because sometimes the actually mix soy with paraffin – isn’t that awful?

    To answer your question – I honestly do think Party Lite candles are paraffin – Home Interiors candles definitely are. Believe me, soy candles are definitely worth the money – I purchased the candle I’m speaking about in October and it’s still burning – they seem to last forever!!!

  4. Debra

    Great article! I am glad to see such a well researched article on the perils of introducing paraffin toxins into the air we breath. Not only are we helping to reduce our dependency on foreign oils using soy wax, but we are also helping the US economy by supporting our “often” ignored farmers. I have built 2 websites to teach how to make candles and tealights using natural, organic SOY WAX.

    My next biggest passion is synthetic pesticides since they have a radioactive half-life just like uranium, and pests exposed leave 25% of all future pest generations immune anyway. Whereas insects never develop immunity to organic natural pest control methods. I was a Certified Master Gardener, and have been completely organic for years.

    People need to realize we are shipping pesticides banned in the USA to Mexico, they use them, and ship the product back to the USA.

    Just like we let candles be imported from China in, knowing they may be using lead in the wicks due to substandard regulation.

    Sorry, these are two of my passions! My next site will be supporting all green products! One step at a time!

    Debra GreenGardenerGal

  5. Tanja

    I am so glad to read this article. I sometimes feel like I am a lone soy candle eco warrior here in Africa. I was approched by a very well known international company who wanted me to produce their candles in my small soy candle making company. They left me with their current candles – made from Chinese paraffin, poorly wicked and just awful, terrible candles. They smoke, they’re overwicked, you name it. I contacted the Fragrance Oil company behind these candles to ask about the eco friendly properites and – THEY DID NOT KNOW!!!

    In the end, the company who sell to top end consumers told me that they could not afford to pay for the difference to have the candles made in soy. They currently pay R17 for each candle and sell them overseas in excess of R400 each – trading on an eco friendly African themed message. It is disgraceful. There are so many candle makers jumping on the eco/soy band wagon and many of them are chancers and charletons. Look very carefully at the labelling of what you buy, even though in this case, the labels could have been written by Walter Mitty himself.

  6. Yolanda

    My son and I have notice in the last several months that we are both are hallucinating we are seeing things like bugs that are not there seen outside of our apartment? We had not spoken to each other as to what we were experiencing but one day we had a talk and my son mention that he too had been seeing these bugs? We bought Walmart brand candles and I got to doing some searching and came to the conclusion that this was the source of our hallucinations. Can anyone add or have this problem? We are throwing out the candles!


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