Did you know that the lovely aromatherapy candles you’ve been burning to relax and fill your home with calming scents could be toxic? In the past, many of the scented candles on the market contained lead-core wicks because fragrance oils soften the wax, so the manufacturers used lead to make the wicks firmer. A candle with a lead-core wick releases five times the amount of lead considered hazardous for children and exceeds EPA pollution standards for outdoor air, says the CPSC, which is why they banned lead wicks in 2003. Exposure to high amounts of lead has been linked to hormone disruption, behavioral problems, learning disabilities, and numerous health problems. New candles should be marked as “lead-free”. If you don’t see that, rub the top of the candle wick across paper and if a grey mark like a pencil is left then there is lead in that wick.
You should also watch out for aromatherapy candles made of paraffin— a petroleum by-product—which release carcinogenic soot when burned. The soot can also cause respiratory problems and will aggravate the conditions of those who already have asthma, lung, or heart problems. Burning an aromatherapy candle made of paraffin has been compared to preparing a healthy drink of fresh squeezed juice and adding a shot of gasoline. Besides endangering your health and that of your family, soot from paraffin wax can cause significant damage to the inside of your house, plus your computers, electrical appliances, and ductwork.
And if that weren’t enough, aromatherapy candles that are scented with synthetic oils release microscopic particles that can cause cancer and other health problems when inhaled. They can also trigger allergy attacks and headaches in people who are sensitive to chemical smells.
You Love Burning Candles so What Can You Do?
At The Word is Art Gallery, we sell wearable natural nontoxic candles from Objects with Purpose. OwP founder, Ianthe used to light a candle at the end of every day but, as an adult, she discovered that many of the candles she’d been lighting were toxic!
Researching the safest cleanest candles to burn for her family, she discovered organic coconut butter wax. Having high standards in design, as well as quality, Objects with Purpose candles were born to deliver non-toxic sophisticated conscientious candles to everyone.
Besides being burned as a candle, OWP candles can be used as solid perfume when cool or as massage oil when it gets heated up. The fragrance lasts and is delightful without being overpowering. Recently, OWP products were featured in the Oscar “swag bags”!! So if you’d like a little taste of natural luxury, come down to The Word is Art Gallery and try them out.
*Thank you to Green America for much of the toxic candle information.