Candles are often thought of as a natural product that can bring a sense of calm and serenity to your home. We fully support this idea, but as with nearly all products we consume, what goes into the candle is extremely important.
For decades, large candle manufacturers have used a product called paraffin. This includes industry giants like Yankee Candle, who uses “premium-grade paraffin wax” to produce millions of candles per year.
So what is paraffin? In scientific terms, it is a mixture of hydrocarbon molecules derived from processed petrochemicals such as petroleum, coal and other fossil fuels. If petrochemical byproducts are not your idea of a calming, natural experience, you’re not alone.
Unfortunately, there may also be health reasons to avoid paraffin. While scientific research is relatively limited in this area, recent studies have found “that paraffin-based candles — the most popular kind — emitted toxic chemicals like toluene and benzene. Soybean candles did not.” In fact, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has set a recommended exposure limit for paraffin wax fume. While the measure is primarily intended to protect factory workers, it underscores the notion that breathing in lots of paraffin fumes is less than ideal, and could in fact lead to other health issues like pneumonia.
While the effects of toluene are less well studied, benzene is a known carcinogenic, present in products like cigarettes, exhaust fumes and industrial emissions. This is not a chemical that you want burning in your home, particularly on a regular basis.
At Brooklyn Candle Studio, we use only 100% soy wax derived from American-grown soybeans (the same kind you eat as tofu or soy milk) for an eco-friendly, clean-burning, natural soy wax. Our lead-free cotton core wicks are primed with vegetable-based wax, and our products are preservative and petroleum-free, cruelty-free and 100% vegan. In addition, our fragrances are created from a blend of essential oils and phthalate-free perfume oils to ensure the highest levels of safety and quality.
Scented candles can add a calm, relaxing or cozy vibe to any home, but that shouldn’t come at the expense of anyone’s health. Whether you choose to bring our candles into your home, or someone else’s, we hope you will look for candles that are free of paraffin, lead wicks, phthalate and other toxins we’d all be wise to avoid in our homes.