Why It Is Important to Know What Is In Your Candles Blog

Why Is It Important to Know What Is In Your Candles


One of the aspects of Great South Bay Candles that sets us apart most often is the fact our candles are not made with paraffin wax.  You will not find any paraffin in our candles since I discovered the unhealthy facts about what this type of wax is made out of and what it can do to humans and pets when you burn a candle made with paraffin wax.

As I grew older, my allergies were starting to worsen and I found that the candles I was burning in my home were harmful and toxic.  Thru reIearch, found out that most of the commercially made candles are made with paraffin wax which is derived from petroleum by products.  They also contain substandard fragrance oils and other additives which didn’t help my allergies.

I started to look into what paraffin wax is, how it burns, and why it was so triggering to me.  At the time, there was not a lot of information for me to research but I absorbed all that I could.  I tried to avoid candles made with paraffin wax but the alternatives were very costly.  It was not until later in life, I truly learned the importance of that ingredient. 

Facts Regarding Paraffin Wax

-As the byproduct of crude oil, a nonrenewable resource, paraffin wax is considered harmful to the environment. 

-Aside from the toxins it emits and air pollution, the mining of crude oil has its own environmental impact. 

-When crude oil prices rise, the cost of paraffin wax goes up. 

-Paraffin is a synthetic wax that is used in a variety of products for consumers, including candles, cosmetics, polishes, beauty products and even electronic insulation. 

-It was introduced in the 1850’s and was the main candle making ingredient until the 1990’s, when people started to look at other candle wax alternatives, such as soy and palm wax.

-Paraffin based candles are more likely to produce soot according to a 2009 study done by the Department of Biological and Physical Sciences at South Carolina State University.  They are the leading cause of indoor air pollution.   

-According to the EPA, unventilated space can lead to respiratory and skin irritation, with the variety of chemicals being released into the air.  Some effects can occur like headaches, nausea, vomiting and dizziness.  Harmful fumes released such as toluene and benzene are carcinogens that are linked to asthma and lung cancer

-When these toxins are released in the air, they are also harmful to your pets, especially birds.  Birds have a unique and sensitive respiratory system that reacts differently when you burn a candle made with paraffin wax.  Burning candles made with natural waxes are the best alternative for them. 

-The petroleum in the paraffin wax is the cause of the excessive black soot around the glass when you burn a paraffin candle. Besides breathing in the unhealthy soot, overtime the buildup will damage your walls, drapes and furniture in your home.   

-Paraffin wax candles are touted for their optimal burn time and profile.  However, in addition to its toxic properties, it’s not biodegradable or natural.  Soy wax actually burns up to 50% longer than paraffin candles due to its lower melting point.

Why Are Great South Bay Candles Different?

When I started the Great South Bay Candle Company it was mainly to create candles that didn’t produce unhealthy fumes when burned.  I wanted products made with eco-friendly waxes and fragrances that were cost effective.  

After some research, I found that soy wax was the best alternative to natural waxes because it is plant based.  It is considered carbon neutral, sustainable and a renewable source that produces a cleaner burn. Soybean wax is mostly produced in the United States, so choosing domestically made products helps support American farmers and their families.  We don’t blend our wax with paraffin, palm, coconut or beeswax or use artificial dyes. 

Many fragrances oils used contain harmful phthalates.  Our fragrance oils are clean, meaning they are free of phthalates and exclude materials with similar health concerns including ingredients on California's Prop 65 list.

One of the concerns I’m asked by consumers is the use of lead core wicks.  In 2003, the manufacturing and importing of lead wicked candles were banned in the United States.  We use natural cotton wicks. 

Additional suppliers that we purchase other raw materials from are located within the US and also abide by eco-friendly practices.  We strongly agree on supporting local companies whether big or small.  We take steps in using biodegradable and recycled materials for our packaging that helps our planet. 

Most candles that are bought in stores contain harmful wax, chemicals and metal.  However, there are healthier alternatives available that do not produce these dangerous fumes when burned.  Buying eco-friendly candles not only improves your health but also helps our planet.  So the next time you are in the market for a new candle, or if you have been using candles for years, take a second to check what type of wax they are made of.  If they are not healthy for you, it might be time to switch to something better.  We hope this article has helped open your eyes to some of the dangers lurking in commercial candles and shown you some healthier alternatives.

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