You can picture the scene, all those happy, eager little faces squashed around the birthday cake with their minds focussed on which piece of the decorations they want to eat. Will it be Ben 10’s watch, the Princess’s Tiara or the candy spots from a Ladybug?
The candles are lit, everyone is singing happy birthday and the birthday child makes a wish. Finally the candles are blown out and removed from the cake leaving wafting sooty smoke, little holes and often coloured deposits in their wake. Lets hope the deposits also get removed before someone eats them because who knows what is actually in these paraffin wax candles…
As the name suggests, paraffin wax candles are made from a petroleum byproduct. The wick if not responsibly made could contain lead (which helps to make it stand up straight whilst the candle is burning). Both of these factors contribute significantly to indoor air pollutants through toxic smoke. It has been documented that paraffin wax candles produce chemicals such as toluene, benzene and naphthalene. The soot given off from burning candles is the same as that given off by burning diesel fuel (according to David Krause an air quality engineer and former employee of the Florida Dept. of Health). The paraffin wax candles may also contain synthetic colours and dyes.
We can’t be sure what the ingredients of inexpensive paraffin wax birthday candles are and if the wicks contain lead. But if you keep in mind a couple of points when buying birthday candles, you will likely avoid the low quality ones.
- Who manufactures your candles - are they made by a reputable company?
- Have the candles been certified non-toxic with the standards clearly displayed?
A completely safe alternative to paraffin wax birthday candles are pure beeswax birthday candles. Beeswax burns cleanly, is naturally more healthy, is not made from processed synthetic ingredients and is virtually dripless. Beeswax candles are also more environmentally friendly as they are made from sustainable, renewable ingredients. The smoke produced is clean and the only contains the natural aroma of beeswax.
100% Beeswax Birthday candles are the most healthy addition to your birthday cakes.