According to the Environmental Protection Agency in the United States (EPA), “Candles with lead wicks have the potential to generate indoor airborne lead concentrations of health concern. It is also possible for consumers to unknowingly purchase candles containing lead wick cores and repeatedly expose themselves to harmful amounts of lead through regular candle-burning.”
They also go on to say that regardless of the lack of lead, burning several paraffin wax candles exceeded the EPA’s standards and posed an increased risk for cancer because of the acetaldehyde, formaldehyde, toluene, benzene and acrolein levels. All those chemicals, along with many others are not healthy or good for our bodies and most especially our lungs.
Paraffin wax candles also produce soot – that black stuff caused from the flickering flame. “When soot is airborne, it is subject to inhalation. The particles can potentially penetrate the deepest areas of the lungs, the lower respiratory tract and alveoli (Krause, 1999).”
Not only are people with asthma more susceptible to the effects of burning paraffin wax candles, but also the elderly and children. Science has proven that a child’s tiny body is negatively affected by chronic low-level lead exposure. Burning paraffin wax candles that contain lead wicks is definitely in the category of low-level lead exposure.
Low-level exposure to lead mainly affects the central nervous system and can cause:
- Neurobehavioral changes
- Kidney Disease
- Increased Depression
- Phobic Anxiety Symptoms
- Mood and Personality changes
- Changes in Sleep patterns
- Learning difficulties
- Difficulty concentrating
- Memory loss
- Loss of appetite
- Difficulty breathing
Are you looking at those candles sitting on the shelves of your home a little differently now?