Candles are now a common decoration item in homes. Candles are primarily used to
create ambiance and relieve stress. However, candles can significantly contribute to the
indoor air pollution in your home.
• Burn soy candles rather than oil based candles. Soy-wax candles burn cleaner and
slower, are non toxic and do not emit petrol-carbon soot. Soy is both a renewable
and a biodegradable resource.
• Beeswax candles are a better choice than paraffin wax but often times a beeswax
candle will contain some paraffin wax. Beeswax candles produce a ‘cleaner burn’
compared to paraffin wax – a petroleum product.
• Wicks should burn down evenly with the wax.
• Choose candles with thin, braided wicks.
• Avoid candles with very thick wicks and those with a wire core holding the wick
• Avoid multiple wick candles.
• Candle wicks are often made of chemically grown, cotton that has been bleached
• Wicks with metal down the middle are the most hazardous, as they contain lead
• Materials used for aroma can be divided into two groups, essential oils/ plant
extracts or fragrant chemicals. Read the labels carefully before purchasing your
candles. Consumers can be fooled by product descriptions which lead them to
believe they are buying healthy, aromatherapy candles, when in reality the candle
is primarily a petroleum wax, with synthetic scent, synthetic fixatives and a small
amount of plant essential oil.
• Essential oils are extracted from trees, shrubs and flowers from all over the world.
Each essential oil has its own unique chemical makeup.
• Fragrant chemicals are usually derived from petroleum and sometimes animal
It is not uncommon for candle manufactures to combine artificial fragrances with
essential oils, or to dilute the essential oils with synthetic fragrance. Many
synthetic fragrance chemicals can pose a wide range of immediate and long-term
health hazards. Up to 95 percent of chemicals used in fragrances are synthetic
compounds derived from petrole