I was asked to do a bit of research on candles. It had never occurred to me that they might not be safe. There does seem to be a bit of research out there regarding paraffin based candles and their contribution to poor indoor air quality. I then tried to find some alternatives. It seems that soy candles are indeed a good alternative but though they burn cooler and produce less soot than paraffin based candles, seems that they still produce a light colored soot which is just harder to see. So, while being an all natural alternative and biodegradable, also apparently not containing the carcinogens which paraffin based candles do, I am not entirely sure that they are truly safe. Add to that the fact that to be considered a “soy based” candle, the candle need only contain 10% soy, the rest can be paraffin, and the fact that the instant you add a scent of some sort to the candle it ceases to be all natural. If one decides to buy soy candles, one should look for candles which are in a container or look like beads, as soy wax cannot form a pillar. Soy pillar candles are a dead give away for a candle containing ingredients other than soy.
So I have learned 2 things today. First that I now am convinced that paraffin based candles are not wise to be burning frequently (seeing as I have had the same candles for the past 6 yrs, I would say my burning them should be considered infrequent at best anyhow) and the “all natural” alternatives can be somewhat deceiving.