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.  We do not use any paraffin wax 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.  I found that the candles I was burning in my home were harmful and toxic.  As I did some research on candle waxes, I discovered that the majority of commercially made candles had paraffin wax.  This wax is manufactured using the 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

Paraffin wax is harmful to the environment.  It is a byproduct of crude oil which is a nonrenewable resourse. 

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 wax is synthetic and used in many products. Some examples are candles, cosmetics, polishes, beauty products and even electronic insulation. 

It was first introduced in the 1850’s.  It 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.   

Buring candles in a unventilated spaces can lead to respiratory and skin irritation because of the toluene and benzene being released into the air.  These carcinogens are linked to asthma and lung cancer.  Some effects can also occur like headaches, nausea, vomiting and dizziness.  

Toluene and bezene are 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 have optimal burn time.  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 a candle made with eco friendly waxes and clean fragrances and cost effective.  

After some research, I found that soy wax was the best alternative to natural waxes because it is plant based.  Soy wax considered carbon neutral, sustainable and a renewable source that produces a cleaner burn.  The majority of soybean wax is grown and manufactured in the United States. By choosing domestically made products it 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 consumers have is the use of lead core wicks.  Importing or manufacturinglead wicked candles have been banned in the United States since 2003.  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. 

Candles purchased in stores and online mostly 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.  When you are in the market for a new candle or have been buring candles for years, take a moment to see what type of wax your candles are made with.  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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