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Our Newsletter

Facts & More Info

Why are Beeswax candles more expensive?
Certified organic beeswax is a whole lot more expensive than regular paraffin, palm and soy wax. However, beeswax actually burns slower so therefore it burns longer and much brighter so you’ll derive greater pleasure and more enjoyment for your money than if you opted for the cheaper versions.

Technology actually made candles worse for your health
Hundreds of years ago, most candles were made of beeswax. But over the centuries, beeswax candles were gradually replaced by tallow (animal fat) candles, and then in the last century by paraffin candles, which are probably the kind you have in your home right now. It sounds innocent enough, but paraffin is made from the sludge at the bottom of barrels of crude oil, which is then treated and bleached with benzene and other chemical solvents to “clean it up” for use in candles.

Paraffin candles put out soot and smoke when you burn them along with toxins and carcinogens. Since burning petrochemical paraffin smells bad, synthetic fragrant oils are added, many of which are irritating and even toxic when they are burnt. Breathing in paraffin candles emissions has been compared to breathing diesel fumes.

Note: Do not confuse synthetic fragrant oils with pure organic essential oils.

Soot, smoke, and chemical residue from “regular” candles can stick to walls, ceilings, and ventilation ducts and gets re-circulated whenever the heating/cooling system is in action, exposing you to these pollutants even when the paraffin candles aren’t burning.

A CPSC Investigation
A CPSC investigation found that despite a voluntary industry agreement to remove lead from candle wicks, a small percentage of candles sold in the past several years still contained lead-cored wicks. CPSC staff found that some lead-cored wicks could emit relatively large amounts of lead into the air during burning. Children may then inhale the vaporized lead, placing them at risk. Children may also be exposed to lead by mouthing objects on which lead has settled or by handling such objects and then mouthing their hands.

Some of the candles tested by CPSC staff emitted lead levels in excess of 3,000 micrograms per hour - about seven times the rate that could lead to elevated levels of lead in a child. CPSC estimates that an indoor air lead level of 430 micrograms per hour from burning candles could result in hazardous exposure to children.

Some container, pillar, votive, and tealight candles use metal wicks and CPSC found that some contained lead, however, tapers, commonly used as dinner candles, use cotton wicks and do not contain lead.

Lead poisoning in children is associated with behavioral problems, learning disabilities, hearing problems and growth retardation. Although the primary source of lead poisoning in the United States is lead from paint in older homes, lead accumulates in the body, and even exposure to small amounts of lead can contribute to the overall level of lead in the blood.

Safe alternatives to lead-cored wicks, including zinc, synthetic fibers, cotton and paper, are used by most candle and candle wick manufacturers. Currently, candles that use a metallic core in the wick most likely contain zinc. Because consumers cannot tell if a metal- cored wick contains lead or an alternative, consumers may wish to contact the retailer for information about the materials used in their candles.

The CPSC was petitioned to ban candlewicks containing lead cores and candles with such wicks by Public Citizen, the National Apartment Association, and National Multi Housing Council on February 20, 2001. The ban against manufacturing, importing, or selling candles with lead wicks will become effective in October 2003. 

Source: CPSC Press Release # 03-105, April 7, 2003 (www.cpsc.gov)

Candle Safety- important information about wicks—beware!

At Honey Candles - Australia, our beeswax candles use environmentally friendly and safe square braid cotton wicks. The following quotation from the article entitled Killer Candles published by the Lead Advisory Service of NSW reveals how important it is that you choose candles with the proper wicks

"Candles sold in Australia have been found to have lead wicks which when burnt can cause lead poisoning or even death. Adelaide lead assessor Mike van Alphen found that these candles, all imported from China could release 500 to 1000 micrograms of lead per hour into the air."

The full article is available at www.lead.org.au. Please read it. The long term health of you and your children might be at stake.