Green Candles (and I don’t mean the color!)

An aside: On a quintessential Patriot’s day, the face of the historic and prestigious Boston Marathon was changed yesterday by a horrific act of terrorism.  My heart goes out to the three people who were killed, those who were wounded, their families and all the runners who trained so hard and long and were unable to finish the race.   This tragedy, this shock, will not break the spirit of the hearty and resilient New England people.

I love candles – the light they cast, the ambiance they create, their ability to make an ordinary event special.  But – conventional paraffin wax candles contain toxic chemicals.  Paraffin is actually a petroleum byproduct, the sludge from the bottom of an oil barrel.  It’s then bleached with 100% industrial grade bleach, dyed, and often scented with synthetic fragrances, all of which contain microscopic particles that can cause cancer and respiratory problems when inhaled.  What’s more, 40% of candles on the market contain lead wires inside their wicks.*  According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, “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.”  Most often, the candles with lead wicks are scented candles. We all are aware of the problems associated with high levels of lead exposure – hormone disruption, behavioral problems, learning disabilities, and health problems.  Additionally, soot from paraffin wax candles can damage computers, electrical appliances and your home.

100% beeswax candles

100% beeswax candles

As with most things, there are safer and healthier alternatives.  Vegetable-based wax candles with cotton wicks, like soy-based candles, are a non-toxic alternative to paraffin candles.  So are 100% beeswax candles, which are not only non-toxic, but are actually healthy for you.  I recently learned from a bee farmer that beeswax candles release negative ions as they burn.  Negative ions are nature’s air purifiers and are commonly produced in waterfalls, electrical storms and mountain regions.  They attract positive ions, particles that are positively charged like dust, pollen, mold and airborne germs.  The negative ions neutralize the positive ions so they no longer circulate in the air.  People with allergies, sinus problems and asthma have reported significant improvement in their symptoms after burning 100% beeswax candles.  Seems crazy, but honey is an ancient, nutrient-rich, natural healer; therefore it makes sense that beeswax is a healer too.

Get some toxin free candles today – you’ll breathe easier!

*Lead wicks have been officially banned in the United States since 2003, but that does not mean that candles manufactured in China or elsewhere don’t contain lead wicks.  Look for lead-free labels.

Information compiled from,, and www,





10 responses to this post.

  1. I never thought about candles and “greeness.” Now I will. Thanks for post.


  2. Posted by Tudy on April 17, 2013 at 1:37 pm

    I agree with buying beeswax candles; now I know the reason why- thanks! Tudy



  3. Great post! I’ve been aware of this problem, but am going to have do something about it and find green candles that I can buy here in my area. Italy can be a little more complicated for some of these things!


  4. This article contains several inaccuracies and urban myths, but two flagrant errors need to be immediately corrected:

    Paraffin wax does NOT contain toxic chemicals. All candle waxes are non-toxic. Scientific studies have shown that candles of all major wax types exhibit the same clean burning behavior. No candle wax has ever been found to be toxic or carcinogenic.

    There are NO lead-wick candles in the U.S. market. Lead wicks have been banned from the U.S. since 2003, and their use was voluntarily discontinued by most U.S. candle manufacturers several decades earlier. The ban was enacted by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commissions primarily because some imported candles — representing a tiny percentage of the market –were found to have lead wicks.

    Please visit the National Candle Association’s website at for substantiated information about candles and candle science.

    National Candle Association


  5. Great post, Betsy. I love my soy candles. They do burn cleanly and smell wonderful. I didn’t know that about beeswax. Fascinating.


  6. […] Green Candles (and I don’t mean the color!) ( […]


  7. […] Green Candles (and I don’t mean the color!) ( […]


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