Why are paraffin wax candles so bad for us?

What is paraffin wax?

Paraffin is a petroleum waste product and has to be deodorized and chemically bleached before it can be made into wax. Today, you can find petroleum-based paraffin wax in candles, wax paper, polishes, cosmetics, and electrical insulators, among other commercial items.

Why does paraffin wax have such a bad reputation?

Most candles today are made of paraffin wax which creates highly toxic benzene and toluene when burned (both are known carcinogens). In fact, the toxins released from paraffin candles are the same as those found in diesel fuel fumes and are linked to asthma and lung cancer. 

The environmental impact of paraffin should also be noted. Crude oil, being the origin of paraffin wax, is considered highly unsustainable, being a non-renewable resource. It has also been the cause of many environmental calamities, in oil spills, damage of natural habitats and climate change. 

What should we do as a candle consumer?

Choosing natural candles instead of paraffin is the way to go. Reading the labels might not be enough though because candle makers are not required to disclose the ingredients they use in their candles. Indeed, no laws or regulations make it a requirement for them.

So the best way to wisely chose a candle is by finding out how and with what ingredients they are made such as what type of wax is used. If the wax is 100% natural, whether it's soy, coconut or bees, then it's a better alternative. The best way to consume if to educate ourselves and ask the right questions.

Artisane natural candles are paraffin-free, we are not using any chemical additives or phthalates in our fragrances. We source our ingredients responsibly and use only the safest products to make our candles. 

Learn how to make paraffin free candles by signing-up to our online candle making class. Learn more here