Paraffin Scaremongering: Debunking Myths About Scented Candles and Health - Dayas Essence

Paraffin Scaremongering: Debunking Myths About Scented Candles and Health

You may have read or heard about Michael Gove declaring war on scented candles and wood burning stoves in a bid to reduce 36’000 deaths a year caused by toxic air (14.01.2019 UK news)

Within the candle making community, there is a lot of discussion around this topic, many are blaming the current government and especially Mr Gove for this current strategy which was launched today by the UK government, it’s called the ‘Clean Air Strategy, which aims to reduce the estimated 36’000 deaths a year which are allegedly due to breathing in toxic air.

Included in the Clean Air Strategy is the demand on manufacturers to reduce emissions from scented candles which add to particle pollution and can break down to create toxic gasses according to the world health organisation.

The Daily Mail has posted a news report about Mr Gove declaring war on scented candles and wood burning stoves which you can read here

So, the question which has many candle makers in the industry talking about is, “What does this mean to them as small businesses?”

“Will they lose trade if they are using paraffin wax?”..

Many large candle making manufacturers use either paraffin wax or a paraffin and soy wax blend known as parasoy wax in their candles or melts.

So really, this new strategy will affect not only small businesses, but also many of the larger candle making businesses such as Yankee and Glade who also use paraffin wax in their scented candles.

Please note that the new strategy is referring to scented candles and not melts.

 Is there any scientific evidence to back up the claims that scented candles are bad for your health?

The answer to this is a very mixed yes and no.


The following extract comes from the British candles organisation.

The full document can be read here

 Airborne compounds in the indoor environment arise from a wide variety of sources such as environmental tabacco smoke, heating and cooking, construction materials as well as outdoor sources.

To understand the contribution of scented candles in the indoor load of airborne substances and particulate matter, candle emission testing was undertaken in environmentally controlled small and large emission chambers.

The experiment was based on several candles with the aim of characterising pollutants from the burning of scented candles in particular. The emission factors these gave off such as formaldehyde, benzene and naphtha-lene, which are all classified by the EU as “High priority chemicals”.

The test was on the fragrances “Cedarwood, plumeria, oriental spices, rhubarb and aloe vera” the candles were coloured Red, Blue, Navyblue, Green and Brown.


The EU allegedly spent over a million pounds on these experiments.

The science on these candle emission rates is calculated on the basis of measured chamber concentrations of volatile and semi volatile organic compounds (VOC,SVOC) and particulate matter (PM). These were used to predict their respective indoor air concentrations in a standard EU-based dwelling, using 2 models: the widely accepted cons expo 1 box inhalation model and the recently developed RIFM 2 box indoor air dispersion model.

The output from both models has been used to estimate more realistic consumer exposure concentrations of specific chemicals and PM in candle emissions.

Potential consumer health risks associated with the candle emissions were characterised by comparing the exposure concentration with existing indoor or ambient air quality guidelines, these where not existent to established toxicity thresholds.

On the basis of this investigation it was concluded that under normal conditions of use of scented candles do NOT pose known health risks to the consumer.

Again, please note that this is referring to candles and not melts.

Still on the subject of burning candles, this is an abstract from

Candle composition is expected to influence the air pollutants emissions, possibly leading to important differences in the emissions of volatile organic compounds and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.

In this regard, the purity of the raw materials and additives used can play a key role.

Consequently, in this work emission factors for some polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, aromatic species, short chain aldehydes and particulate matter have been determined for container candles and constituted by different paraffin waxes burning in test chambers.

It has been found that wax quality strongly influences the air pollutant emissions. These results could be used, at least at a first glance, to foresee the expected pollutant concentration in a given indoor environment with respect to health and safety standards, while the test chamber used for performing the reported results could be useful to estimate the emission factors of any other candle in a easy to build standardised environment.

The full report can be found here

 This expert is also referring to scented candles and comes from an article from on the subject of its paraffin toxic and a long look at emissions and followed by soot.

Black soot is the product of the incomplete combustion of carbon-containing fuels. Scented candles are the major source of candle soot deposition.

 Most candle wax paraffin’s are saturated hydrocarbons that are solid at room temperature. Most fragrance oils are unsaturated hydrocarbons and are liquid at room temperature.

The lower the carbon to hydrogen ration the less soot is produced by the flame.

Therefore, waxes that have more fragrance in them produce more soot.

In other words, candles labelled “Super Scented” and those that are soft to the touch are more likely to generate soot.

(That’s why Daya’s Essence wont make candles, due to our higher concentration)

The full article is found here 



All the information that I have been able to research on this subject is all referring to scented candles and it all has been done in either test chambers or lab setups. I have found no evidence so far that reports any health risks when using paraffin wax in melts.

Also I found no evidence that can lead me to say that using paraffin or any other candle wax in scented candles has any more risks to health than any other pollution from the air outside

In addition, I can find no evidence so far that says using paraffin wax in scented melts has any impact on health whatsoever, other than the reported allergen type effects that some people have to some fragrances including essential oils.

 All candles and melts that contain fragrance oil are not natural products, fragrance oil is synthetic man made using chemicals, if the section on a SDS (Safety Data Sheet) (2.2) states that it can cause damage to an unborn child, or mutation or respiratory issues that’s when it’s at its toxic level as its been flagged up at that concentrate.

Even melts and candles at 8% COULD produce the triggers (CAR, MUT, REP) If ever unsure always speak to the maker of the products. (All Dayas Essence products DO NOT trigger any nasty hazards for the 30% concentration.

Soy is as safe as paraffin with regards to none hazardous to health, all waxes and additives have to be lab tested to be passed for retail.

 Badly made candles and wicks not being trimmed can product soot, EVEN soy can product candle soot, that’s why extensive testing is done to look at wicks, wick sizes, melt pools, jar dimensions to reduce the soot produced.

Everyone’s entitled to opinions but if paraffin was toxic it wouldn’t be allowed to be made.
Its the Fragrance oil that can be hazardous to health, that’s why CLP is highly important and that’s why waxes are NEVER stated on a CLP.

Essential oils are plant based extracted, but certain essential oils are toxic to pets.

 You may have seen my recent article Are home fragrances safe to use This is more of a laymans terms and easy to read article, this today, explains more about the experiments and science behind it.

The PDF website links is further reading regarding paraffin.


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