Soy candles are an amazing vegan, cruelty-free candle option for those who want candles that are better for the environment and animals. But are soy candles safe? We look at the common misconceptions about candle safety and what to look for when choosing safer candles for your home.
This is probably the most commonly cited issue with wax candles. The idea that when the wax burns it releases toxic chemicals into your home. One 2009 study found that burning paraffin wax releases potentially dangerous chemicals, such as toluene. But, the study was never published in a peer-reviewed journal, and it has been debunked since as inaccurate. According to a statement released by the European Candle Association, “They have provided no data for review, and their conclusions are based on unsupported claims. No reputable scientific study has ever shown any candle wax, including paraffin, to be harmful to human health.” A further 2007 study funded by the European Candle Association researched every major type of wax for 300 toxic chemicals and found that the level of chemicals released by each was well below the amount that would cause problems for human health. This is true of plant-based waxes such as Soy but though there is no conclusive evidence against the toxicity of paraffin candles, we know that their production is damaging to the environment.
Although the wax may not be toxic, we also need to look at the wick in the candle. Soy wax candles can use any type of wick. Different wick sizes allow for different amounts of wax to be drawn into the flame and burn at different states. In the past, candles frequently contained lead-core wicks. The lead was used to make wicks stand firm in the centre of the candle, especially in scented candles where fragrance oils softened the wax. When lead is burnt it does produce toxic chemicals. Most candle companies in the UK stopped using lead in the 70s but it is still used in other countries so be wary of purchasing from abroad. It's always best to choose a candle that has a 100% natural wick to avoid releasing poisonous toxins into your home. The wicks of our candles are made from 100% natural fibres and do not contain lead, so are 100% safe to use. All candles emit some amount of soot, but given the same conditions (length of the wick, diameter of candle etc), a paraffin candle will emit more soot than a soy candle.
Some people experience poor reactions to fragrances so a scented soy wax candle is only safe if you don't have sensitivities to the fragrance. In a study, one in five people reported reacting to candles with symptoms that include sneezing, a runny or stuffed-up nose, itchy eyes, sinus problems, migraines, skin rashes, coughing or wheezing. To avoid this, we recommend choosing natural fragrances over synthetic, ensuring the candle you use has a natural wick and to go scentless if you are highly sensitive to smells. If you have adverse effects from a candle you should stop using it immediately.
This is not specific to soy wax candles, but all types of candles. It doesn't matter what the material is, candles pose a fire risk. You should never leave a candle unattended and you should be wary of candles when you have small children or pets around. Know the risks, and take precautions so you can enjoy your candles safely. Soy wax candles have a lower melting point than other waxes which means they are less likely to cause burns or stains if the wax is accidentally spilt. Plus, as they are biodegradable, they are easier to clean up than paraffin wax spills.
Soy wax candles are as safe as any other candle on the market but with the added bonus of being vegan and cruelty-free plus better for the environment. We have a wide collection of scents to choose from for both our candles and wax melts. If you have any questions about our products or the ordering process please visit our FAQ page or get in touch.
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