After a summer of toxic air quality we have all become more aware of the air that we breathe. And now with self isolation and the COVID-19 we are even more aware of what can be found in the air that we breathe.
Whether it is the air in our homes or workspace, clean air is vital to our health. While we have little control over the quality of the outside air we are able to improve the air of our inside spaces.
Most people know that we need to regularly clean our air conditioning filters, vacuum and that an indoor plant is always a good idea. However, not everyone is aware of the hidden dangers in the candles that they burn in their homes.
Judith Bruce, Founder of www.havanahome.com.au which produces Australian made soy wax candles, says many people don’t know that their favourite candles may in fact be dangerous to their health either through the ingredients or the manufacturing process.
Many candles are made from paraffin wax because it is cheaper than the natural alternatives.
“Petroleum-based wax or paraffin wax is made from the sludge that remains in the bottom of a barrel of crude oil. It is industrially bleached to change it from black to white and this bleaching process leave dioxins in the wax. Dioxins are highly toxic to the body but easily absorbed especially when the wax is burnt,” explains Judith.
“Medical research shows dioxins are chemicals associated with reproductive and developmental problems, damage to the immune system, interference with hormones and cancer.”
“Paraffin wax is cheap and it very hard when it solidifies so it holds its shape, which makes it a popular choice for candle makers. There is no legal requirement to put the ingredients on the products so the best way to check is to buy from reputable soy candle makers,” says Judith.
“Soy is a softer wax that burns at a cooler temperature meaning soy candles tend to last longer, up to 50% longer in some cases. The wax is safe to have on your skin, and if no additives are included, it isn’t even toxic to eat. And of course we know you won’t eat it – but your toddler might and your puppy will certainly have a try.”
The best way to protect yourself and your home is to check for ingredients lists on websites and products. “Soy Blend Wax” is often paraffin with a hint of soy, look for 100% natural wax candles; coconut wax and beeswax are also non toxic alternatives.
Consider the environment by ensuring that your candles are made using renewable resources, recyclable vessels and made locally.