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The Hidden Dangers of Traditional Candles

Traditional wax candles appear in the homes of millions of people and their families. They come in all shapes, sizes, and styles from scented candles to simple tealights.

What you may not know is that traditional wicked candles can present a serious health risk to your household.

As well as being a significant fire hazard, most wax candles  when burned or melted emit chemicals that could be hazardous to your health.

So, what are the dangers of traditional candles?

Fire Hazards

Statistics show an alarming amount of house fires are caused by flame candles, with warnings on their use frequently appearing on fire and emergency service announcements. Most of these fires start because candles are forgotten about or placed too close to flammable/combustible objects.

Left unattended, flame candles can ignite simple household objects such as tissue boxes, decorations, books, curtains, and even cause fires from pets or children knocking them over. Children are also at serious risk of burn injuries from coming into contact with the flame or hot wax.

Toxic Burning Wax

Most candles (particularly scented candles) are made from paraffin wax.
Paraffin is treated by chemical bleaching, dyed, and deodorised or scented to make candle wax, and is completely safe when it remains unmelted.

However, when the wax is burned (which is the case for traditional candles), it can emit harmful chemicals into the air such as benzene, toluene and acetaldehyde which are carcinogenic substances, along with the toxic and volatile chemical, formaldehyde.

Releasing these particles by burning paraffin wax candles creates fumes that are filled with chemicals and may be linked to respiratory problems and other health concerns when used frequently.

Cored Candle Wicks

Adding to the chemical concerns of burning paraffin wax and the looming fire hazard that flame candles present, the candle wick may be another source of unwanted, harmful fumes in your home. Cored candle wicks are typically made from braided cotton wrapped around a fine piece of wire to help keep the wick in place and direct the heat downwards to burn the cotton.

There’s only one catch; the piece of wire used in many mass-manufactured candle wicks is lead-based. When the wick is burning, it can release lead into the air which is then inhaled into the system. Although high quality candle manufacturers won’t use cored wicks in their candles, less-regulated or imported candles may be contaminated with lead-based wicks and cause danger to you and your household.


Scented Candles

The range of candle scents are endless, with any option available from fresh linen to strawberries and cream. While scented candles may seem like a great option to freshen up a room or mask odours in the home, the synthetic ingredients used to create these scents are filled with harmful air pollutants.

These can include limonene, petroleum distillates and esters that can cause health concerns such as respiratory tract infections, headaches, dizziness, and may even be linked to cancer.

Couple this with burning paraffin wax and cored candle wicks, the typical scented candle is a ticking timebomb of harmful, volatile chemicals making their way to your lungs.

The solution – Enjoy LED flameless candles

There are no invisible dangers inside LED flameless candles.

There is no burning necessary, eliminating the risk of harmful carcinogens filling the air in your home.

With options such as flickering flame voitives, remote control candles and flameless wax candles, you can create the same ambience and style in your home while still giving the look and feel of traditional candles without all the risks.

Check out how you can create ambience in the home using flameless candles.