Guide to Non-toxic Candles

Despite their warm glow, pleasant scent and feel-good vibes, most scented candles are an unhealthy source of indoor air pollution.

Their wax (paraffin wax, a petroleum byproduct) creates highly toxic benzene and toluene when burned. Both are known carcinogens—and are also found in diesel fumes. Their wicks can contain heavy metals like lead, and their artificial scents and dyes are known allergens and respiratory irritants.

Even unscented paraffin wax candles have the same health concerns (minus the artificial scents). Burning paraffin-based candles in an enclosed indoor space pollutes air significantly enough that certain chemicals can be found in concentrations above EPA-recommended thresholds. Over time, exposure to these chemicals is damaging to the brain, lungs and central nervous system, and can lead to allergies, asthma and other health concerns.

Fortunately, there are some healthier alternatives to petroleum-based artificially-scented candles. Look for 100% soy, beeswax or coconut wax, cotton or wood wicks, and fragrance from pure essential oils.

Healthy candles for better air quality

Wax & Wick

These small-batch 100% soy candles from Chicago are made with responsibly-sourced wood wicks and phthalate-free fragrance. (Also available on Amazon.)


Bluecorn Beeswax

Beeswax actually helps to purify air by emitting negative ions, which bind to positive ions, reducing indoor air pollution. These pure beeswax candles are available in various sizes, shapes and aromatherapy scents derived from pure essential oils.


Thistle Farms

These soy wax candles are scented with essential oils and produced by a social enterprise offering housing, therapy, support and job training to women survivors of trafficking, prostitution and addiction.


Rejoy Living

This unique blend is hand-poured in the U.S. from coconut wax and essential oils.


Moondust

This Los Angeles-based shop hand-pours candles from soy wax, essential oils and “moonstone” (selenite), which is believed to have natural healing properties that help remove toxic energy, promoting positivity and peace.


FOUR WELLNESS TIP

Improve the indoor air quality in your home by making the switch to non-toxic soy, beeswax or coconut-based candles scented with pure essential oils or phthalate-free fragrance.


ARE YOUR CLEANING SUPPLIES POLLUTING YOUR INDOOR AIR?

They might be! Most conventional cleaning supplies contain an entire cocktail of harmful ingredients that add chemical toxins to indoor air. Our Healthy Cleaning Guide shares more details on how cleaning supplies impact your home’s air quality, plus our favorite nontoxic clean-air options.

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