Lana Farson, M.S., L.Ac., Licensed Acupuncturist and Herbalist

Candles & Air Quality

Candles with lead-core wicks pose air quality hazard in the home, especially during winter candlemonths when windows and doors are kept closed. Here’s an easy test: rub the tip of an un-burnt wick on a plain piece of white paper. If the wick leaves a light gray pencil-like mark, it has a lead core.  If there is no mark left on the paper, the candle is lead-free.

Good quality wax is important too.  It appears that petroleum-based candles (which includes paraffin) and scented or aromatic candles are the worst offenders and can trigger allergic reactions or certain lung conditions.  Paraffin is derived from petroleum which produces carcinogens in the air when burned.  Beeswax, soy and carnauba wax based candles are three types of non-petroleum based wax candles to look for.

Here’s a link for more information: Environmental Health & Safety – Candles & Indoor Air Quality


  1. Radha says:

    Also the fragrance. Fragrance is carcinogenic, ESP the fragrance additives to candles that make them smell so good…bummer.

  2. Liz Spurlock says:

    Good to know this now; tis the season.

  3. binyamina says:

    Yes! It is so hard to find non-toxic candles. I love having a candle burning on a chilly day, but the artificial fragrances in most of them make me feel sick. If I had more time I would make my own 🙂

  4. Ivory says:

    I enjoy the efforts you have put in this, regards for
    all the great posts.

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