Shopping for Non Toxic Candles

Updated: Feb 13, 2020


Non toxic candle information

So, if you're on the all natural and organic food and products, healthy living, holistic lifestyle like so many of us are now, you may be wondering which candles would be the best to use in your home. Long before you ever looked it up, you probably had a good idea that the thick black soot coming off the flame of your candles probably was not something good for you to be breathing in. And you would be absolutely right!


Paraffin wax candles are highly toxic and contain at least two known carcinogens benzene and toluene. Paraffin is a by-product of petroleum and the soot it produces is the same soot that comes out of the back of a diesel engine. Yuck!


In this article I'll break down the important things you should look for when choosing a non toxic candle for your home.


1. Wicks


MANY of the wicks used in candles contain lead in the core. In 2003 lead wicked candles were banned in the United States. A candle with a lead-core wick releases five times the amount of lead considered hazardous for children and exceeds EPA pollution standards for outdoor air, says the CPSC, which is why they were banned. But what about candles coming in from other countries? Approximately 47% of candles imported are from China and Hong Kong respectively where the rules and regulations do not include strict adherence to the same standards as United States candle manufacturers. It's completely legal to manufacture candles with lead wicks in China. Would you trust a candle that came from China was safe for your family? Sometimes you can see the metal in the wick but sometimes you can't because it's woven into the fabric.


When shopping for candles make sure you get one that has a 100% cotton wick (preferably organic), a hemp wick, or a wood wick. Element candles uses a cherry wood wick which burns very nicely.


2. Wax


Paraffin Wax - no thank you!

Most people don't even realize this, but there are lots of choices of candle wax available. The one you want to avoid no matter what is paraffin. As mentioned before it's toxic and contains carcinogens. It also can ruin the inside of your air conditioning ducts leaving a build up of black soot all over them.


A study done by South Carolina State University, shows that burning paraffin candles indoors can create unhealthy airborne chemicals. “The paraffin candles we tested released unwanted chemicals into the air. For a person who lights a candle every day for years or just uses them frequently, inhalation of these dangerous pollutants drifting in the air could contribute to the development of health risks like cancer, common allergies and even asthma,” said Massoudi, a chemistry professor in the Department of Biological and Physical Sciences.


Other toxic chemicals that may be present in the paraffin mixture and released through burning include: Acetone, Trichlorofluoromethane, Carbon Disulfide, 2-Butanone, Trichloroethane, Trichloroethene, Carbon Tetrachloride, Tetrachloroethene, Chlorobenzene, Ethylbenzene, Styrene, Xylene, Phenol, Cresol, Cyclopentene. Some of the toxins are found in other products such as paint, laquer, and varnish removers. Yuck!


Paraffin Soy Blend - nice try!

Many companies will blend paraffin into soy wax but not write that on the label. If it contains mostly soy wax, legally they can just call it a "soy wax candle." The reason for this is because soy wax doesn't hold or throw scent well. What you want to look for is one that says 100% soy wax candle. If it doesn't say 100% soy wax on the label, I wouldn't trust it.


Soy Wax - you're better than this!

I'm not a huge fan of soy wax because any soy being turned into wax for candles is coming from GMO soy. I started out making candles using soy wax until I learned that the "non GMO soy wax" I was buying really came form GMO soy crops and they just removed the protein in it so that when it was tested it would be negative for GMO's. Sneaky.


"Contrary to popular beli