Can Yankee Candles Be Harmful?
Yankee candles are a staple to have in many households, especially during the festive season’s thanks to their variety of warming scents, but before you fill your house with these scented candles, you should consider if their good for you?
Yankee candles are typically made of paraffin wax and fragrances which could be considered toxic to some, we, therefore, suggest researching the ingredients well before burning.
Down below, we’ve put together an extensive guide which will take you through what Yankee candles are made of, if paraffin wax is toxic as well as scents and some ways to ensure your buying a non-toxic candle to burn in your home.
What Are Yankee Candles Made Of?
When we purchase a Yankee candle from the store, many of us don’t give a second thought as to what they are made of as long as they smell good!
It’s important however to learn exactly what is in your candle so you can make sure it’s safe to burn in your home.
We’ve listed the main ingredients of a Yankee candle below.
Yankee candles are made of three kinds of wax, soy wax, paraffin wax and premium soy wax blend. The majority of the candles however contain paraffin wax which is said to be harmful when burned.
Paraffin wax comes from petroleum which can emit harmful toxins when burnt into the air, these chemicals and harmful toxins have been named as a group of BTEX which are carcinogenic and therefore harmful to your health.
Yankee candle’s soy wax blends are also to be questioned since you don’t know the kinds of wax they are blended with.
Yankee candles are mostly made with cotton candle wicks which keeps them natural and safe to burn.
There was a time when lead-core wicks were used in candles which used to release harmful toxins and lead to indoor air pollution, these however have been banned since 2003.
Candle fragrances can contain lots of toxins and chemicals if you’re not careful and most modern candle manufacturers still don’t have to disclose the ingredients in fragrances.
Synthetic fragrances such as clean cotton or pine can contain questionable ingredients which can be harmful to your health contain VOCs and phthalates that have negative health effects when burned.
Is Paraffin Wax Toxic?
Most Yankee candles range are made out of high-quality paraffin wax, this is because paraffin wax tends to be cheaper to use in candles and holds the scent for longer.
Paraffin wax when burned in small amounts does not cause any harm, but this still is toxic to burn in your home, especially if you burn scented candles often.
We’ve listed some negative health side effects of burning these fragrance candles below.
- They can give you headaches – Have you ever been relaxing with your fragrance candles lit only to get a headache? Well, paraffin wax could be to blame, this is due to a chemical found in a Yankee candle called toluene which can affect the nervous system in the brain.
- Breathing problems – Over time, the chemicals called toluene can irritate the mucus membrane in your lungs which can then contribute to breathing issues.
- Nausea – When repeatedly exposed to toluene and benzene at 200ppm it can cause nausea in some people and affect human health.
- Cancer – There have been reports of benzene being found in scented candles, this chemical has been linked to causing cancer and is also linked to childhood leukaemia.
Are Scented Candles Bad For You?
Now we know the average candle made with paraffin wax is harmful to you, what about standard scented candles made with fragrance oils, are they bad for you?
As we mentioned briefly when talking about Yankee candle fragrances, some fragrance blends can be toxic containing VOC’s. They release volatile organic compounds like formaldehyde which can cause symptoms such as a runny nose and sneezing.
Most candle scents are also paired with paraffin wax since they hold the scent for longer, so be aware most candles you buy in the candle shop contain paraffin wax.
Are Yankee Candles Toxic For Animals?
Since Yankee candle options can emit toxins when burnt, are they also harmful to our furry friends?
Dogs can indeed be sensitive to certain scents and the fumes emitted by paraffin wax, most of the time these scents by Yankee candle company and others are not poisonous but fragrances like citrus can be sensitive to dogs.
The Best Wax Alternatives To Paraffin Wax Candles
If you want to avoid paraffin wax candles, natural candles can be made with a variety of other kinds such as beeswax or coconut wax, we’ve listed them below along with their pros and cons to help you choose.
- Soy wax – This wax is much healthier than others and is made from soybeans, some benefits are its high melting point making it easy to work with and it allows scented candles to have an extra strong scent, the biggest downfalls are that it doesn’t last as a long as paraffin wax candles.
- Rapeseed wax – These kinds of candles have a slow burn and good throw, the biggest downfall is that candle companies in the US don’t often make them since rapeseed plants are easier to find in Europe.
What To Look For In Non-Toxic Candle
If you’re looking for a different non-toxic alternative to a Yankee candle there are plenty of other candles to choose from on the market which does not have toxins.
We’ve listed some important factors to look for in non-toxic candles below.
- Source of fragrance – If you want to choose a non-toxic candle then you need to consider where the fragrance comes from, most scented candles are made with synthetic fragrances such as smells like pumpkin spice, therefore ensure your candles are naturally scented instead.
- Wax type – Nontoxic candles should not contain paraffin wax since this is toxic, instead look for candles made out of soy wax or beeswax. Avoid candle wax options like soy wax blends since they can often contain a percentage of paraffin wax which is toxic.
- Wick type – Cotton wicks are now used on most candles with wicks, lead wicks were banned a while back.
Our List Of Non-Toxic Candle Brands
If you are trying to steer clear of the Yankee candle brand now you’ve learnt their candles are toxic, we’ve got plenty of other non-toxic candle brands for you to check out below.
- Boy smells – This company makes all-natural coconut and beeswax candles, each candle is hand-poured and they also use natural oils to scent them!
- Brooklyn candle studio – All of the scents in Brooklyn candle studio candles are phthalate-free and nitro-musk-free making them non-toxic!
- Keap – Keap uses coconut wax for all its candles, they even recycle candles if you send them back!
- Amass – Amass candles have a soy wax base and are vegan.
- Hampton and astley – These candles are made with cotton wicks and are 100% rapeseed wax, beeswax and soy coming with natural scents such as orange blossom.
- Art house London – Art house candles are made with plant wax and use premium fragrance oils which are high quality.
Frequently Asked Questions About Yankee Candles Being Toxic
Are candle fragrance oils toxic?
There is no known toxicity in candle fragrance oils but they do contain diethyl phthalate or DEP from the scent, the cousins of these chemicals are known to be toxic when inhaled. We also make an article explaining in depth whether
There is no known toxicity in candle fragrance oils but they do contain diethyl phthalate or DEP from the scent, the cousins of these chemicals are known to be toxic when inhaled. We also make an article explaining in depth if Are Scented Candles Bad For You or not.
What should I look for in a good candle?
When you go candle shopping you don’t want to waste your money on buying low-quality candles, especially scented candles which tend to be very expensive. The main points to consider when choosing a good quality candle are the wax, wick size and fragrance.
How long does a candle with coconut wax last?
Candles made with coconut wax do tend to last longer than when made with paraffin wax.
What are the exact ingredients in Yankee candle?
Yankee candles do not disclose every single ingredient inside of their candles, the main information about the ingredients in their candles are they use refined paraffin wax, they used cotton wicks and their scents come from essential or fragrance oil blends.
When were lead-free cotton wicks made legal over metal wicks?
Lead-core wicks have been slowly banned in most countries around the world since the 2000s due to the toxic chemicals they expelled when burnt.
What are the healthiest candles to burn?
Some of the healthiest candles you can choose to burn are non-scented beeswax or coconut wax candles.
Are there any health benefits to burning candles?
The main health benefits of burning candles are they provide a sense of calm and well-being when burned which can be relaxing for people. Looking for more information if Can Scented Candles Make You Sick? Then this is for you!
What am I breathing in when I light a candle?
Although paraffin wax does emit toxins when burned, the amount of soot and chemicals you are breathing in is minimal unless you were burning for hours on end, then you might get some negative health effects.
Want to find out what chime candles are? Check here!
Overall, Yankee candles are not considered poisonous or toxic and are safe to breathe in within moderation, however, their paraffin wax candles can release a small number of chemicals when burned which pollute indoor air and aren’t ideal for inhalation, the same goes for synthetic fragrance blends.
We would suggest opting for natural scented candles as an alternative which is made with soy wax, coconut wax or beeswax, these are often scented with natural ingredients such as essential oils which are not as damaging to inhale.
Moreover, we wrote an article for you to find out if Are Scented Candles Carcinogenic.