Would You Light My Candle? // The Health Risks of Conventional Candles

holiday candles - could they be dangerous?

Candles are a beautiful way to light up the room and fill it with scents that bring you back to your childhood and ground you in some of your favourite holiday memories.

Unfortunately, most candles are a huge source of indoor air pollution, many emitting chemicals that are just as dangerous as second-hand smoke!

I know, I know, you’re thinking my goodness, is everything toxic these days!?

Don’t worry! I have some great alternatives for you at the end of this blog. But I feel it’s important that you know why it could make a big difference to be conscious about your candle choices.

So, here’s the dirt.

Most conventional candles are made from paraffin wax. Paraffin is a petroleum waste product that emits benzene and toluene when burned - both of these are known carcinogens.

The soot from paraffin candles is actually the same as soot as the exhaust from a diesel engine. This is what makes paraffin candles just as dangerous as second hand smoke. Breathing in this kind of soot can cause a range of health problems, from headaches to lung cancer.

The yuck doesn’t stop there.

Many scented candles also have wicks that contain heavy metals like lead. A candle with a lead-core wick releases five times the amount of lead considered hazardous for children and exceeds EPA pollution standards for outdoor air.

Exposure to high amounts of lead has been linked to hormone disruption, behavioral problems, learning disabilities, and numerous health problems.

Many candles also contain artificial scents and dyes that add to that toxic load being dumped into your air.

Never fear!! I’ve got some alternatives here!

It’s not all doom and gloom. There are many answers to this depressing problem and they do not have to sacrifice scent and ambiance.


Soy-based candles are much cleaner burning than paraffin wax. This is definitely a step in a better direction. However, unless it is noted, you still can’t be sure that the wick will be clean burning. There may also be some issues with the fact that soy is highly genetically modified.

I like Wax + Fire Co because they’re Canadian-made, Soy-based and they guarantee no lead, paraffin or phalates!

soy based candle, lead-free


Beeswax candles are not only clean burning but they can actually help clean your indoor air! You can enjoy the gentle glow of a regular candle while the beeswax emits negative ions, which are said to combat the negative ions created by electronics, heating & cooling systems, etc.

Generally indoor air is more positively charged and to create an environment that is more healing, more in line with nature, it is important to create negative ions to combat that. Negative ions can also help reduce the concentration of dust, pollen and mould in the air!

I like Honey Candles because they are 100% pure beeswax, eco friendly and guarantee a clean burning whick.

beeswax candles emit negative ions


So you might not get the sexy glow with these, but if you’re looking for a wonderful way to scent your air and purify it at the same time, essential oil diffusers are your best bet! Nothing is burning! It’s just water & essential oils!

I love this option because you can mix and match your essential oils, choose them for their health benefits and change them up depending on what you’re feeling each day.

Naturally, Saje is the place to go for these goods.

Still looking for thoughtful holiday gifts? Replace their toxic candles with one of these options to get them something they’ll enjoy AND will improve their health. That’s a loving gift!

COMMENT below and let me know what your favourite alternatives are!

SHARE this with a friend who loves their candles! <3 Cause knowledge is power!!

As always, thanks for stopping by!

Kisses & Kombucha,