Made with an ignitable substance and a wick thread, these light-able items have been in use since 200 BC. In early days, they were the most humble of appendages to give light in a safe manner. It is said that the oldest candle found to this day has been found in China and it has been made with the use of whale fat. Due to price of beeswax, in early Europe the use of animal fat known as tallow has been a common practice. With humble beginnings this flambeau has come a long way, and is now even considered somewhat a luxury item, with paraffin and soy being some of the main ingredients.
They come in varies sizes, colours and fragrances. Nowadays individuals don’t need to make their own, they can simply buy scented candles online. There are many types available, from jars, tea lights to vases filled with wax. However, with its popularity have come various safety and issues and concerns that are threatening the industry. The main concern is the chemicals that are used in making them and adding fragrances. The types of wicks used in some are also causing concerns. Several research papers have highlighted the risk involved in using candles that are too fragrant. They argue that certain chemical are released when they are burnt and these run the risk of causing asthma and some forms of cancer as well. The synthetic dyes and scents added to them are said to be the main culprit. Paraffin, which is a substance derived from petroleum is said to emit carcinogenic toxins when burned. Though in a normal state they may not be harmful, when the paraffin burns it is said to release toxins such as toluene, benzene Trichloroethene, Carbon Tetrachloride, Tetrachloroethene and Phenol to the air, which is said to be harmful in long term exposure, and can result in cancers.
Soy candles Sydney are marketed as a safer alternative, however soy wax is not a naturally occurring compound, and many chemicals are added to create a waxy material that can be burnt. Apart from this there are many more ingredients added if the candles are to be fragrant. So experts argue that they are not 100% natural or safe either. Another element considered not safe is the lead wicks that are used in some. Initially lead was added to the wicks to keep them straight while burning; however they were banned in the US, though accepted in many other countries. It is said that the wick can emit lead to the atmosphere when it is burnt, causing lead poisoning. Though there are questions and doubts about the safety of using them, the fragrance they emit and the soothing atmosphere they create cannot be forgotten. However to be on the safe side, it is best to not over indulge in any form of scented candles for too long.