Why I Won't Light Paraffin Candles.
In a nutshell, paraffin starts off as the black sludge from the bottom of an oil barrel, before it is bleached to the white product that you see in many household candles. The bleach alone is unbelievably strong. Your household bleach is said to be 10% of the strength of the bleach used in making paraffin the colour it is. Then many paraffin waxes have more additives mixed in, and this is before we get to the scent, dyes and wicks (each of which have issues). Here is a list of just some of the chemicals that get added to paraffin wax, which you can google to see what they are and what they do!
So for me to burn one of these candles and release those toxic chemicals, I could be causing my body harm and potentially putting myself at the risk of cancer.
Now here is the interesting personal part. I have always loved my candles, way before I started producing them myself. I never really gave it a second thought, until my migraine headaches got continually worse, was sneezing like an idiot and my husbands asthma worsened. I just felt lethargic and most unwell, and could never put my finger on what was wrong. I ate a very healthy diet, got lots of exercise, personally did not smoke and hardly drank any alcohol. It was only when I read an interesting article in the newspaper about the dangers of paraffin candles, and I thought well I might as well cut them out to see if I noticed any change. I also destroyed all artificial air fresheners at the same time too (i will discuss in a future blog post). Within a month, both of us were feeling much better and not suffering some of the awful symptoms we had previously suffered.
This begs the question as to why these candles are not looked into more? It is a myth that paraffin is only used in some of the cheap candles you find, because some high end candle manufacturers are making some serious money out of using such "cheap" materials. Why do they do it, other than for profit? Well, paraffin wax is easier to work with, stabilises quicker and holds scent like a dream. In fact, manufactures can often increase their profit margins more because they can include less scent.
So, the reasons for me not manufacturing with paraffin wax, is not just an educated one, but a personal one for the health of my family. I have two ranges of candles available. One is my 100% essential oil range, where only natural oils are used. The other is the fragrance range, which although has artificial scents added, they are at least paraben free. I know people love certain popular scents so under pressure from them, I added them to my range. At least the wax, the paper (non metal) wicks and paraben free scents are a huge leap forward. I do hope that people try the essential oil range though. More are being added to that collection shortly, and I am hoping that the essential oil range overtakes the fragrance range eventually in popularity.
To see Lakes and Hills range of essential oil candles click here.
P.S. My personal favourites are the Neroli Blend and the Lavender, but I am working on some gorgeous smelling natural additions!