Do Paraffin Candles Contain Carcinogens?

Updated on December 7, 2022

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Do Paraffin Candles Contain Carcinogens?

Paraffin wax is made from petroleum products, coal, or shale oils. These substances are known to cause cancer. So if you've ever burned a candle, you may have breathed in harmful toxins.

Candlemakers use paraffin wax because it is cheap and easy to work with. However, paraffin wax is highly flammable, and it emits dangerous fumes during combustion. You should never burn paraffin wax indoors. Instead, opt for safer options like beeswax, soy wax, or coconut oil.

Soy wax is a safe alternative to paraffin wax. Soy wax is made from soybean oil, which is non-GMO and doesn't contain carcinogenic compounds. Plus, soy wax burns cleanly without emitting smoke or foul odors.

Is Paraffin Wax Toxic?

Paraffin wax is made from petroleum, coal, and shale oil. These substances are known to cause cancer. However, paraffin wax candles do not emit any toxins unless they are burned. Therefore, if you burn paraffin wax candles, there is no risk of being exposed to toxins.

However, if you buy paraffin wax candles and store them in your house, you may be exposing yourself to toxins. You should avoid storing paraffin wax candles near children and pets. Also, keep paraffin wax candles away from heat sources such as radiators and fireplaces.

You should never leave burning paraffin wax-based candles unattended. Always extinguish modern candles after use. Never leave burning candles unattended or place them where children or animals can reach them.

Health Issues Caused By Chemicals Found In Paraffin Wax

Here are several health issues caused by chemicals in paraffin wax:


Paraffin wax is used in candles, and there are concerns that it may contain chemicals that could lead to health issues. Benzene is one of the chemicals that is commonly found in paraffin wax. According to the American Cancer Society, benzene is known to be linked to certain types of cancer.

Benzene is listed as a known human carcinogen by the NTP. The NTP also states that benzene causes chromosome damage in bone marrow cells in laboratory tests.

Some studies have suggested links between exposure to benzene and childhood leukemia, adult leukemia, and other blood-related diseases.

There are many reasons to avoid using paraffin wax candles. You should consider switching to soy candles if you are concerned about the possible effects of paraffin wax on your health. These harmless candles do not contain any harmful chemicals.

Kidney Damage

Paraffin wax is used in candles, but does it really pose any health risks? According to the NIH, there are several chemicals found in paraffin wax that may cause kidney damage if inhaled or absorbed through the skin. These include benzene, xylene, ethylbenzene, styrene, methyl naphthalenes, naphthalene, phenol, and formaldehyde.

While paraffin wax is safe to use in candles, it should not be used in products where it comes in direct contact with food or drink. You should avoid using paraffin wax in baby bottles, pacifiers, teething rings, and anything else that comes in contact with babies' mouths.

You should also keep paraffin wax away from children and pets. If you accidentally come into contact with paraffin wax, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. Avoid breathing in fumes or touching your eyes, nose, mouth, or clothing after handling paraffin wax.

Keep paraffin wax out of reach of children and pets. Wash your hands thoroughly after coming into contact with paraffin. Don't smoke near paraffin wax. Keep paraffin wax away at all times!"

Birth Defects

Paraffin wax candles are made out of petroleum products, including paraffin wax, which is a mixture of hydrocarbons. These chemicals are known to cause health issues, especially if inhaled.

According to the US National Library Of Medicine and the National Institute Of Health (NIH), inhalation of toluene can cause effects on the fetus. Toluene crosses the placental barrier and is found in the fetal blood at concentrations of approximately 75 percent of that present in the mother's blood.

The Centers for Disease Control reports there are cases where babies were born with defects after being exposed to paraffin wax candles during pregnancy.

Animal studies show low birth weight, delayed bone formation, bone marrow damage, and growth retardation when pregnant animals breathed benzene.

Bone Marrow Damage

Excessive exposure to benzene has long been known to damage the bone marrow and result in decreased numbers of circulating blood cells. Benzene causes chromosome changes in bone marrow stem cells in the laboratory. The American Cancer Society states that benzene has been found to cause cancer in animals exposed to high levels of the chemical.

Benzene works by damaging the DNA inside cells, which prevents them from working properly. As a result, the body cannot produce enough healthy white blood cells, which can cause anemia.

There are several types of paraffin waxes available today. Some are made using petroleum products, while others are made using soybean oil. However, most paraffin waxes still contain toxic substances, including benzene.

Respiratory Issues

OSHA says that you can be exposed through inhalation. Repeated exposure can lead to respiratory depression. OSHA also warns that acute exposure to toluene vapors can irritate the mucosa of the respiratory tract. Chronic exposure can result in lung damage.

Acute exposure to toluene toxins can cause headaches, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, weakness, confusion, loss of consciousness, convulsions, coma, and death. Chronic exposure can cause liver damage, kidney failure, cancer, and birth defects.

You should never light a scented candle without wearing proper safety equipment. You should wear gloves, goggles, and a mask when working near a burning candle. Never breathe in the fumes. Instead, open windows and doors to let out the smoke.


Chronic exposure to toluene at levels below 200 ppm has been linked to headaches, fatigue, and nausea, according to the CDC. These symptoms may occur after only short periods of exposure.

To avoid the risk of developing cancer caused by chemical exposure, try using soy wax instead of paraffin wax. Soy wax doesn't release any toxins into the air during candle burning, making it safer for you and your family.

Soy wax burns cleaner than paraffin wax, so there won't be any toxic fumes lingering in your house. Plus, soy wax lasts longer than paraffin wax. You'll enjoy the benefits of clean air and a long-lasting product without worrying about dangerous toxins.

Are Wax Melts Toxic?

Paraffin wax is used in candles, but not everyone considers it to be toxic. However, there are certain types of paraffin wax that are known to cause health issues. These include mineral oil, petroleum jelly, and petrolatum.

Petroleum jelly is made from crude oil and is commonly found in lip balms, moisturizers, lotions, shampoos, deodorants, cosmetics, hair products, nail polish removers, and skin creams. Petroleum jelly is also used in food processing and pharmaceuticals.

While paraffin wax itself isn't harmful, it does contain chemicals that can cause health problems if ingested or inhaled. Therefore, it's important to avoid breathing in fumes from melted wax. You should also keep away from any spills or burns caused by melting wax.

Fill Your Space With Happy Wax Soy Wax Melts

Happy Wax soy wax melts are made from 100% all-natural, plant-based soy wax. They are completely safe to use, emit no harmful chemicals, and are nontoxic candles. Instead, they are made with high-quality essential oils that are nontoxic when used as directed.

Shop soy-scented candle melts today to find your favorite scents that you can feel confident using indoors and out. You'll notice that these healthiest candles smell great, melt easily, and last longer than traditional paraffin wax candles.

This type of wax is also an eco-friendly and healthier alternative to traditional paraffin candle waxes. Because these natural wax candles are made with natural source ingredients, they won't leave behind any nasty chemical residue after burning. Plus, they are biodegradable and recyclable.

You can shop Happy Wax soy wax melts online or visit your local retailer to find the scent you've been searching for.

Smell is one of the human senses which can flow through the whole body. I am the Founder of where we talk all about scented candles. Known as Candace the Candle Girl, I know pretty much all there is to know about scented candles. I make and sell them on Etsy and Ebay - so be sure to ask if you have any burning questions :) (pun intended ;) )

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