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Posts Tagged ‘toxic candles’

Part of the problem with soy wax candles is that the vast majority of soy beans grown (93% according to the latest figures – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soy) are the Monsanto, Roundup Ready, genetically modified soy beans.

I recently became aware of an organic farmer in WA, Steve Marsh, who has recently been stripped of his organic certification because 70% of his property was found to be contaminated by the GM soy grown on the property next door.   I decided to stand up and be counted.  I have donated to Steve’s legal fighting fund.  I am sharing this information with you because it matters, and because we can each in our own small way make a difference with the decisions we make.  You can read more about Steve’s case here.  You can also donate to his fighting fund on that site, and find information about the concerts and rallies being organised (in WA) to bring attention to the cause.

For those of you who love the occasional scented soy wax candle (yes, Seb, thinking about you), please consider this:

  • the description of soy wax as “natural” is misleading.  It  is actually chemically bleached, hydrogenated-with-heavy-metals soybean oil.  You can find out more about the hydrogenation process and additives here and here.
  • the vast majority of candles are scented with synthetic, petro-chemical fragrant oils.  (plenty of online references to that if you do a google search).  You could also re-look at our previous post on Fragranced Candles: The Hidden Risks.
  • there is enormous environmental damage caused by clear-felling virgin rainforest to make way for soy plantations.  You can read more in the WWF report by Jan Maarten Dros.  Or reading the Greenpeace article.  Or even on CorpWatch.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.  This was actually supposed to be a rallying cry for Steve Marsh – to bring attention to his cause, hopefully donations to his legal fighting fund and perhaps some of our WA customers at his rallies.

On a positive note, none of the beekeepers we buy from have their bees on soy (or any other GM crop for that matter).  So you have a completely natural, non-toxic option available to you at any time by burning Queen B candles.

Cate xx


Queen B beeswax candles are made with 100% pure Australian beeswax a pure cotton wick and copious amounts of hand made love. We stock beautiful and stylish candle holders, personalised candles, votive candles and pillar candles that nourish the human spirit and our environment.

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We receive enquiries weekly as to whether we sell scented beeswax candles.  We don’t… for a couple of reasons.

1. The vast majority of candles are scented with ‘fragrant’ oils (fragrances, aroma oils, aromatic oils etc).  Fragrances are synthetic chemicals.  Clearly this would not be consistent with Queen B candles.  More on this in a moment.

2. A few candles are scented with essential oils.  Sounds good so far.  Essential oils are, after all, natural.  The problem is that by pouring it into the wax, the oil is combusted during the burning process.  And as soon as you combust an oil, there are toxic emissions.  No matter how pure or natural or lovely that essential oil was to start with.  According to The Essential Oil Encyclopaedia, the smoke from burning essential
oils may contain potential carcinogens, such as polycyclicaromatic hydrocarbons.

Of course it is perfectly safe for you to put drops of oil in water (or wax) and to vapourise the oil (through heating), as in the case of using an oil burner.  That is fine because the oil isn’t being combusted.

So, back to fragrances.  I am sure that many of you, even though fans of Queen B, may have a fragranced candle lying around that you just can’t get rid of because you love the smell so much?  If so, read on.

According to The Environmental Working Groups recent report “Not so Sexy – The Health Risks of Secret Chemicals in Fragrance”, the fragrance industry has over 3,100 stock chemical ingredients.  Their report which focuses primarily on fragrances/perfumes found that “the average fragrance product tested contained 14 secret chemicals not listed on the label… chemicals associated with hormone disruption and allergic reactions and many substances that have not been assessed for safety…”

A quick read of the entire 44 page report (you can find it here) should cure you of any desire to burn fragranced candles (or wear perfume for that matter).

Interestingly when I looked into who regulated fragrances in Australia, I found out about NICNAS (National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme).  NICNAS requires all importers and/or manufacturers of industrial chemicals for commercial purposes to register with NICNAS.  Interesting.  I did a quick search on a couple of well known manufacturers of ‘natural’ soy wax candles that I know to be using fragrance oils and the largest of them showed up as being registered with NICNAS.

In the interests of keeping this post to a reasonable length I offer the simple observation that it appears that the EU have a significantly better & more restrictive system for regulating industrial chemicals than Australia does.

By all means, have a beautifully scented house… by using pure essential oils in an oil burner with a Queen B tealight below.  Or if you prefer you can just enjoy the natural, light honey aroma of a Queen B candle – just as nature intended.

Happy burning!

Cate


Queen B beeswax candles are made with 100% pure Australian beeswax a pure cotton wick and copious amounts of hand made love. We stock beautiful and stylish candle holders, personalised candles, votive candles and pillar candles that nourish the human spirit and our environment.

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A few months ago I was approached by Living Wisdom magazine to write an article about the toxicity of candles.

Living Wisdom magazine - Candles that Kill

Agreeing to write the article represented an opportunity for me to share some of the research that influenced my decision to only make 100% pure beeswax candles at Queen B.  Given the financial challenges involved with running a business making pure beeswax candles – ie beeswax costs 20 – 50 times the price of paraffin, soy or palm wax – it is not a decision made lightly.  It is, however, a decision made after extensive research.

With only 1500 words, it is necessarily a summary, but nevertheless, it is a starting point for anyone who wants to know more about the toxicity of candles.  Unfortunately on the other side of this debate are the petroleum refining companies who sell paraffin, and the billion dollar soy and palm industries.  I know that in penning this article I may be getting some people offside.  Having said that, I think that everyone has a right to make their own decision… to have research at their fingertips and to make an informed decision.

This article also briefly touches on metal core wicks – and why we choose to only use 100% pure cotton wicks at Queen B – and fragranced/scented candles – and why we don’t scent Queen B candles.

To read the article, go to http://www.queenb.com.au/candles-that-kill.php.

Please feel free to post your feedback below.


Queen B beeswax candles are made with 100% pure Australian beeswax a pure cotton wick and copious amounts of hand made love. We stock beautiful and stylish candle holders, personalised candles, votive candles and pillar candles that nourish the human spirit and our environment.

Read Full Post »

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