What's the deal with Paraffin Wax?
Is it as harmful as some claim it is? What is it made of and what are its effects? Let's find out!
Paraffin wax is the most common wax found in those candles you are picking up at Poundland and other mega-chain stores. It was first called petroleum wax back in the 1830 when it was discovered at the bottom of crude oil barrels. It was declared restricted due to its toxic nature.
Fast forward to the 1850s when scientists learned how to make the rejected highly toxic sludge more appealing by mixing it with industrial strength bleach and thus changing its colour to stark white.
The process of bleaching creates toxic dioxins that cause reproductive and developmental problems, damage the immune system, interfere with hormones and also cause cancer. This applies to household bleach, which at full strength, is at 10%. Bleach used in this process is at 100%.
But it doesn't stop here. Once bleached and full of dioxins, the sludge is then mixed with acrolyn, a know carcinogen, to form white solid blocks. Acrolyn releases benzene and toluene into the air when burned.
Benzene stops red blood cell production and damages the immune system. Toluene directly effects the central nervous system. Symptoms include fatigue, sleepiness, headaches, and nausea.
The compound is then mixed with many other chemicals, if you have time and care to read you can visit the Environment Agency website. Long story short, these may include: Acetone, Trichlorofluoromethane, Carbon Disulfide, 2-Butanone, Trichloroethane, Carbon Tetrachloride, Tetrachloroethene, Chlorobenzene, Ethylbenzene, Styrene, Xylene, Phenol, Cresol and Cyclopentene.
So there you have it. Next time you see an impossibly priced great looking candle ask yourself if your savings are worth inhaling the equivalent of engine fumes