Do Your Candles Have Lead In Them?

Image: ejmono

This has to be a somewhat unsettling thought but what is worse is actually burning said contaminated candles and suffering the side effects which can include memory loss and lead poisoning.

"...lead would vaporize once it was lit and began to burn."

Candles are one of the most popular gifts to give and receive so many of us have a great many hanging about the house. Ready to be given away or used. The problem comes with older candles that were produced in China and that contained wicks with metal cores. These cores are especially found in taller candles as the metal acts as a reinforcement and helps the wick to stay erect during the candles creation and to burn longer. In the contaminated candles the metal core was made out of lead which would of course vaporize once it was lit and began to burn.

Once the news broke back around 2000 there was a mad dash to discover and throw away any candle that had even the remote look of being from China. This caused many candle makers to go though great lengths to try and assure the public they were doing everything in their power to use natural wicks free of dangerous lead. Nowadays many of the finer candle makers seem to have stopped using tin or zinc metal core wicks altogether which is one of the best ways of being rather certain your candle is safe. As we have seen with the reports of lead found in children’s toys and makeup one has got to be ever on the lookout and this includes taking a second look at products that have had major problems in the past.

Here’s how to do a candle one-over for lead:

- Look for a metal core. This can be seen by a wick that is very stiff. Trim the wick and see if there is any metal peeking through. If so, take a piece of paper and rub it over the tip of the wick. If it draws like a pencil don’t burn the candle again.

- Some also say that the wick should be burned for a few seconds and then do the above. Either way it might be a good idea to stay away from candles with metal core wicks altogether, especially if you’re uncertain of the production lotion or the brand itself.

- Try to find natural colored candles made from beeswax and paraffin. Candles that are painted or have been dyed have a greater risk of being contaminated with lead, especially when produced in countries with no or lax manufacturing standards.

- Be especially careful of older candles for the same above reason.

- Look for a seal that the candle hasn't any lead in it by the maker or seller.

- Think twice about buying candles that do not have a country of origin unless you are certain they're either homemade or created by local artisans.


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