Soy Wax Candles

Today’s consumer is becoming much more aware of environmental issues and wanting a greener Eco friendly option when purchasing their candles.Soy candles are made from renewable and sustainable hydrogenated soy bean oil. Soy wax was invented in 1991 by Michael Richards.

Harmful effects of paraffin candles

However, non-renewable paraffin candles are the most commonly burned candles and yet are the most unhealthy. This is because paraffin is an inexpensive sludge waste product of the petroleum industry that has been bleached and then texturised with acrolyn, a known carcinogenic product. Once burned it releases 11 known toxins, two of which are carcinogens such as benzene and toluene which are inhaled and linger in the areas they are burned in. Soot from paraffin candles contains many of the same toxins that are found in diesel fumes.

It is could be said that paraffin candles are as dangerous to the lungs as second-hand smoke and the risk increases when burning multiple candles at the same time.

According to a study funded by the US Department of Agriculture, burned paraffin candles emit many pollutants including benzene, toluene and ketones, all of which have been linked to asthma, cancer, and birth defects (Source: NYDailyNews.com).

Similar findings emerged from a study undertaken by South Carolina State University experts, who analysed the fumes released by burning candles in lab tests. They found paraffin wax candles gave off harmful fumes that could be linked to lung cancer and asthma. The scientists suggested switching to candles made from beeswax or soy wax, which did not release significant levels of the chemicals. The findings were reported by BBC news in 2009.

Benefits of soy wax candles compared to paraffin wax candles

  1. Soy wax candles are all natural and carbon neutral.
  2. Soy wax candles can last up to 50% longer than paraffin candles. So in fact, soy wax candles are more cost effective.
  3. Soy wax spills are easy to clean, just using hot soapy water, unlike paraffin wax.
  4. Soy wax candles produce less soot. Soot is unhealthy and leaves a residue on walls and furniture, leading to greying fabrics and ceilings. Soy wax candles produce about 90% less soot that paraffin candles.
  5. Scented soy wax candles distribute more fragrance as it has low melting point, which means cooler burning candles and quicker scent dispersion. The lower melting point of soy wax results in a larger size of the liquid wax pool around the candle wick. It is from this liquid wax pool that the fragrance oils disperse into the atmosphere.

Georgina Tang