Now that winter is making its inevitable approach and days are starting to get shorter, I find myself lighting candles almost every evening. There is nothing like the golden glow of candles to add a little romance and warmth to a room. It has been said, though, that “we breathe what we burn”. In the case of paraffin-based wax candles, what is burned is a mix of petroleum, chlorine bleach and several other potentially harmful additives. As the flame flickers, toxic soot is released into the air. This soot contains a myriad of dangerous compounds including benzene, ethanol, acetone, toluene, formaldehyde and naphthalene.
You don’t have to be a chemist to understand that this is some pretty nasty stuff to be inhaling. In fact, the soot released by the paraffin candles is very similar in chemical make-up to diesel exhaust! One way to avoid introducing airborne pollutants into your home is to forgo paraffin candles and choose those made of 100% natural beeswax.