two white paraffin candles

What is Paraffin?

what is paraffin

One of the most popular candle waxes is Paraffin - it is also one of the most harmful and toxic waxes to use. Paraffin is made from petroleum and paraffin candles can cause allergies and asthma for those with sensitivities. A study by The American Chemical Association  concluded burning candles made from paraffin is an unrecognized source of exposure to indoor air pollution. Paraffin contains the following chemicals: acrolein, benzene, ethanol, formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate, diethyl phthalate, toluene, styrene, ethyl benzene, naphthalene, benzaldehyde, didecyl phthalate, and acetone.


  • Cheap (about 9 times cheaper than natural beeswax)


  • Non-Renewable
  • By-product of fossil fuels
  • Harmful chemicals are used in the cleaning process
  • The equivalent of inhaling exhaust fumes
  • Creates a large amount of black sticky soot
  • Polymers are added to raise the melting point and improve burning qualities
  • Often scented with artificial fragrance
  • Bleached or dyed with toxic colorants

Do you have any experiences with Paraffin you'd like to share? Please post your comments below.

Published By Pat Cattermole

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