When we are too busy living our lives, we often tend to ignore the smaller things. One such thing we are referring to is candles. Many people ignore the fact that burning these lovely smelling products can release toxins into your home without even knowing it.

What Candle Soot Is

When you burn one or a few and there is a cloud of black smoke that is often left behind inside the container or any surrounding area. When you place your finger on it comes off like chalk or ink and can stain your fingers a black color, this black substance is known as Soot and it comes out of the wick while burning. 

This substance is a result of incomplete combustion from carbon-containing fuels, that are typically petroleum-based. So, if you’re wondering what that soot is made out of, it’s Petro-carbon, which fills your space whenever you burn any specific types of candles. Paraffin wax products are made of refined gasoline, which is a by-product of petroleum. Paraffin is a harmful substance when burned and inhaled because it has been known to emit almost 11 different types of toxins. 

The good news is several different types do not have this substance in them and they are much safer to use in the house or any environment which we will discuss below. But first.

What the Environmental Protection Agency Says About This

In many words, the EPA has stated that these popular additions to our home, lead to indoor air pollution. The black soot that is found in the wax jars and all around the walls is harmful to the environment and your health when inhaled. In their statement report targeting candles and incense sticks being a potential health and environment risk, they have mentioned a few pointers which we will summarize for you below and can also be found on this recommended site. They mention four important points.

  1. Burning any candles with wicks that contain lead cores can result in indoor air absorptions of lead that potentially exceed EPA-suggested limits.
  2. The scented varieties especially typically produce more soot than the unscented varieties.
  3. The soot or residue left after burning them have been noted to contain toxins, that include toluene and benzene. The former has been known as a cancer-causing agent, and the latter affects the central nervous system causing drowsiness and headaches.
  4. There is a possibility that the components in certain candles may cause an allergic or trigger an asthma attack in individuals with these underlying conditions. 

Not only can the waxes used in these products have potentially toxic substances such as phthalate and synthetic additives including the ones mentioned above, but commercially manufactured ones have many other harmful chemicals in them such as the ones mentioned here that are not even known because up until now, companies are not obligated to reveal their ingredients list as they are not legally required to do so.

What Are Your Safer Options?

There is something magical about walking into a house that smells divine! Sometimes they are made to smell of baked goods or burning wood, and these smells trigger our “happy hormone” known as dopamine and instantly puts the majority of us in a good mood. 

Perhaps this is the reason why a lot of health and well-being establishments such as spas and therapy services use fragranced types, to put us in a relaxing mood and also it helps to create an appropriate ambiance too.  

We have associated them with celebrations since we turned one year old and had them on our birthday and there are numerous uses for it, the list is endless. However, having seen what the wrong kind of scented candles are made from and what it can do to the environment and a persons health, it is safe to say that we should opt to Go Sootless by investing in the better and cleaner options when trying to fragrance our homes. Plus, we will add some suggestions on what you can do to lessen the black smoke.

The next time you consider going shopping for one, for yourself or a friend, look for any of the below options which are 100% pure and have no toxic elements in them:

  1. Beeswax
  2. Soy candles
  3. Vegetable-wax based

If you already have candles in the house and want to reduce the soot content while burning there are a few things you can do such as trimming the wick before and after you burn it, burning one at a time will lessen the load on the environment, the maximum amount of time to burn one should be 4 hours and something to keep in mind is that a flickering flame will emit more soot so keep it away from any possible drafts. Lastly, use a lid or a cover to store the it and blow it out.

Go out there and find your happy and safe, scent!

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