So what’s all the razzmatazz (actually a word) about Pure Soy Candles, and why should I give a flying flip? February 07 2014, 0 Comments

Pure soy candles come from pure soy bean wax. Okay, no surprise there. But did you know that while the global reserves of oil shrink and paraffin prices increase, the only limit to the soy supply is how much we choose to grow. In addition to soy wax being sustainable, a well-made soy candle will burn cleanly and slowly. In fact, a well made pure soy candle will burn about 20-50 percent slower than a comparably sized paraffin candle. Pure soy candles are eco-friendly, renewable, American grown, sustainable, carbon neutral, and the list goes on and on.

So when is a “soy candle” not a “pure soy candle”?

Answer: Candles that say they are “soy candles” on the label are almost always made with a combination of waxes that usually includes paraffin-wax. Some even contain animal by-products. The simple truth is that there are no regulations at all with respect to the labeling of the ingredients in candle wax. There is nothing to stop a candle manufacturer from adding a small amount of soy wax to a paraffin candle and calling it a “soy candle”. Unless the candle specifically states that it is made from “pure soy wax” and you know and trust the manufacturer, a “soy candle” is most likely not a “pure soy candle”.

So why care if my candle is made of paraffin wax?

The most common fuel used in the candle industry is paraffin, the final refining product extracted after asphalt. This "bottom of the barrel" grayish-black sludge is then decolorized with 100 percent strength bleach, creating toxic dioxins. It's further processed using more carcinogenic chemicals, tinted with synthetic colorants, and artificially scented with chemicals producing chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) -- the gases eroding the ozone layer and contributing to the greenhouse effect.The American Chemical Society states that when burned, paraffin emits toluene, benzene, and other toxins that are linked to health issues such as asthma, eczema, migraine headaches and even cancer. 

The American Lung Association has issued warnings that burning paraffin candles can emit toxins, in measurable amounts, into your home's air. "Paraffin candles are as dangerous to the lungs as second-hand tobacco smoke and even more so if you are in the habit of burning many at the same time."

But Tahoe Candle Works Pure Soy Candles are more expensive than the ones sold at the discount store around the corner from me.

The next time you’re in your favorite big box store browsing the grocery aisles and the hardware section take a walk down the candle aisle. The low prices will probably catch your eye. But, take careful notice of the labels. Do you see any that claim to be “pure soy” candles? Do you really want to save a few bucks and have these candles emitting mystery fumes in your family’s home?