On Earth Day, it’s important to separate fact from fiction when it comes to candle safety and the use of paraffin wax. Debunking four common myths with science-based information, we can confidently enjoy the warm glow and comforting ambiance of candles while prioritizing safety and sustainability.

Myth: Unscented candles are safer than scented candles.
Fact:  There are no known health hazards associated with scented candles. Candle makers are required to use fragrances that are safe and approved for use in candles, whether natural or synthesized. Whether a candle is scented or unscented, as long as it is well-made and properly burned, it will burn cleanly and safely.

Myth: Candle soot can be harmful.
Fact: The small amount of soot produced by any candle is a natural by-product of incomplete combustion and is not considered a health concern.  However, there are ways to reduce candle soot. Trimming the wick to 0.5mm before every use promotes proper flame height, and placing the candle away from draft areas avoids flame flickering. Keeping the wax pool free of debris also helps reduce soot

Myth: Some candle waxes are cleaner burning than others.
Fact: While we have all heard that certain candle waxes burn “cleaner” than others, this is simply a common rumour. An independent international study conducted on soy wax, paraffin wax, beeswax, and other commonly used waxes found that all well-made candles exhibit the same clean burning behaviour and pose no risks to human health or indoor air quality. Validated scientific studies have shown that all major candle waxes exhibit the same basic burn behaviour and produce virtually identical combustion by-products, both in terms of composition and amount. To date, no peer-reviewed scientific study has ever collected or analysed any emissions data on any candle wax, including petroleum-based paraffin, and proven them to be harmful to human health– (ref American Candle Association).


Myth: Certain candles contain lead wicks and should be avoided.
Fact: The use of lead in candle wicks was formally banned in 2003 and members of the National Candle Association discontinued the use of lead wicks in the 1970s.

In addition, paraffin wax, a common type of candle wax, is a by-product of petroleum refining and has been found to be safe for use in all candles. It’s versatility has made it a popular choice in various industries, including candle-making, food production, and cosmetics. Overall, by arming ourselves with accurate information based on scientific research, we can prioritize safety and sustainability while enjoying the benefits of candles on Earth Day and every day.