Tag Archives: soot

Think Twice Before You Light that Candle|Is My Favorite Candle Really Toxic?

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Is a night of relaxation at home ever complete without lighting your favorite candle? Or what about a romantic dinner with your boo? You’ve gotta have your candles! Candles bring peace and ambiance to any room or setting. But before lighting that candle, and allowing that cinnamon apple candle to send you into bliss, consider that some candles can give you a lot more than a sweet smell.

Candles Produce Soot

When you light that cute cinnamon apple candle, its almost like starting a little factory in your home. Soot is a known carcinogen, as well as causing respiratory and cardiovascular problems. Standard wicks made of stiffener, wire and cotton. Using pure cotton wicks will completely rid the problem of soot. If your candle doesn’t have a cotton wick, trimming the wick, and extinguishing the candle by covering it with a lid after extinguishing it will help prevent soot according to an article at the candleers.com you can see below.

Some Candles Emit Dangerous Chemicals

Chemists from the American Chemical Society found that candles made with paraffin wax releases many bad chemicals including formaldehyde, toluene, fragrance, and paraffin. You definitely wouldn’t want these chemicals floating around in your home:

1. Formaldehyde: this chemical can cause damage to the respiratory system, eyes, and is cancer-causing according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

2. Toluene: a chemical typically used in chemicals like paint pigments and solvents. Toluene is known to cause dizziness, headaches, confusion, anxiety and respiratory problems. Long term exposure can cause kidney damage according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

3. Fragrance: a chemical linked to a multitude of health effects including cancer, reproductive system problems, allergies, and sensitivities.

4. Paraffin: a chemical that most candles are made of (i.e Yankee Candle Co, Bath and Body Works, etc.). But paraffin comes with a whole host of health problems including: cancer, chiefly breast cancer. A study in Long Island, NY found that women exposed to paraffin had a 50% greater risk of breast cancer. check out the link below.


Luckily, there are other alternatives to those lovely Yankee Candles or the Bath and Body Works Candles you can enjoy.

Other Wax Candles

Soy candles and Beeswax candles like the ones listed below are 100% paraffin and toxin free and with essential oils. Soy candles also produce a strong scent like paraffin wax. So you can enjoy the scent of a pine forest while reaping the benefits of essential oils! Not only that, but some of the candles listed below have cotton wicks so they are soot-free!


Diffusers are another great option! They’re pretty easy to use and versatile. So you can have the home smelling of orange zest in the morning and frakincense and vanilla at night. Not only that, but they provide humidity to your home which could be great for your skin and hair. Check out the diffuser sets listed below!


While its easy to think, “hey, I’ve been using scented candles for years and haven’t had any health problems or been hospitalized.” The idea with toxins often is that “the dose makes the poison.” Thus you could expose yourself to a dangerous toxin as long as it is within safe limits. But it’s important to consider that any toxin anywhere, is still a toxin. It can still have an effect on you even if you don’t see it today. So limiting your exposure to toxic chemicals like the ones found in candles would be the best idea to keep your home safe from toxins but smelling great.