Q&A

Lately I’ve been hearing that paraffin candles are somehow toxic. What can you tell me about this?

Q.

Lately I’ve been hearing that paraffin candles are somehow toxic. What can you tell me about this?

A.

Paraffin is a by-product of the petroleum industry. Its production employs the use of carcinogenic solvents including toluene, benzene, methyl ethyl ketone (also known as MEK or 2-Butanone), and naphthalene. These contaminants are released in fumes when a paraffin candle is lit, which is especially troubling when users are in unventilated areas. Although some claim it could take years of consistent use for paraffin candle fumes to affect the lungs, why take the risk when cleaner (plant-based) options are available?

— Lisa Sykes is a sustainability specialist for Universal Companies.

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