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Can Candles Make You Sick?

While the whole world fighting this pandemic, health has become one of the primary concerns in our day to day life. That brings us to the question, "Can burning scented candles...

While the whole world fighting this pandemic, health has become one of the primary concerns in our day to day life. That brings us to the question, "Can burning scented candles make you sick?". The quick answer is, it depends on what type of candle you're burning.

Candles has slowly begin to become a normal household items, especially during stressful times like this. Statistics has shown at atleast 70% of households has or at some point of time bought scented candles. So how safe is it to burn candles?

Here’s a breakdown of some different types of candle waxes in the market:

1. Paraffin Wax Candles

Paraffin wax
The most commonly found candle wax in the market. Most companies uses paraffin because of their price. It’s cheap! However, paraffin wax is the byproduct of petroleum and burning can cause toxic particles to spread into the air. Paraffin candles tends to also produce black soot, which can lead to respiratory issues.

With all these health issues warnings, why would there still be people buying paraffin wax candles? Well, paraffin is still one of the cheapest type of candles in the market, plus they retain scents better than natural vegetable waxes. That’s why it’s still preferred by consumers that don’t burn candles that often. 

2. Soy Wax Candles

Soy wax
Made from natural vegetable wax, soy wax is a non-toxic, eco-friendly and sustainable alternative to harmful paraffin candles. If you’re someone that plans to burn scented candles 24/7 you might just find soy candles perfect for you.

Soy candles does carry a more hefty price. However, trust us, it’s worth it. That’s because soy wax tends to burn 30% longer than paraffin candles. Candle lovers also prefer soy candles for their luxury white appearance. 

You may also find other variations of natural vegetable wax candles in the market such as palm wax, coconut wax, or a combination of coco-soy wax. 

3. Bees Wax Candles

Beeswax candles are one of the most expensive candles in the market. In their natural state beeswax candles shows off a slightly honey yellow color, but you still can find processed beeswax candles that are off-white. 

Beeswax candles can be used to neutralise pollutants in your home. They produce negative ions when burned, and those ions help to neutralize pollutants in the air. This helps eliminate dust, odors, and mold in the atmosphere, easing allergy and asthma symptoms and improving breathing for anyone nearby. 

Still, not really a good choice for people that burns lots of candles due to their price. Plus, beeswax isn’t a fully vegan-friendly or environmental-friendly option as harvesting beeswax may bring severe environmental impact to the bee eco-system. 

So now you’ve learnt about the main ingredients that make up your candle. Let’s take an even closer look at the other components of a scented candle, the fragrance.

Your scented candles isn’t scented by magic. They gives off a beautiful scent because they are infused with either fragrance oils or essential oils. 

1. Fragrance Oils

Fragrance oils
Fragrance oils are synthetic oils made in labs. That means it’s nowhere near natural oils. But does that mean it can make you sick? 

Fragrance oils has been around for a long time that scientist and lab experts are constantly improving it. Now you can find fragrance oils that are 100% phthalate-free. These oils are also more suitable to be used in candles because it blends in wax better and doesn’t get caught on fire easily. 

So, if you’re buying candles infused with fragrance oils, make sure to get them from reputable brands, and be sure to keep and eye for the phthalate-free label tag, which are safer to burn.

2. Essential Oils

Essential oils
This is commonly referred to as natural scents. Essential oils are natural extracts from either plants, flowers or fruits. While we find essential oils better used for diffusers, there are some companies using essential oils just for the sake of carry an ‘all natural’ title.

Essential oils however, doesn’t perform that well in candles. That’s because they have a lower burn temperature. So when you burn a candle infused with essential oils, don’t be surprised that the scent isn’t that strong. Some might even experience poorly infused candles that is only half scented, leaving you with half unscented candle. 

The possibility of getting sick from candles might also be more apparent in essential oil infused candles. Even though “wellness gurus” on the internet are constantly pitching on essential oil candles, there is a possibility that you may develop severe allergic reaction to these scents. In worst cases, your respiratory system might get inflammation or swell up causing discomfort. Hence, feeling sick and nauseous. 

In conclusion, candles can get you sick, but it depends on what type of candles you buy. Some brands may not be fully disclosing what goes into their candles. Pick your candle brand wisely. Get recommendation from friends and always do your research before buying. If in doubt, check the reviews and see what other people are saying about that particular brand or product.

If you’re looking for safe to burn candles that are 100% non-toxic, try out Barn & Jones Candles. All our candles are made from pure natural soy wax infused with phthalate-free fragrance oils imported from the US. We are the leading candle company in Malaysia that sells clean burning & eco-friendly candles.


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