Monday, August 24, 2009

Paraffin Candles in the News

The amounts of misinformation on the Internet are growing as large as The Great Pacific Garbage Patch. I've become almost numb to the article that swims in the face of common sense and decades worth of research, such as exercise will not make you thin by TIME Magazine. It didn't take long before 10 Reasons Why Exercise Makes You Thin (Or Why TIME Magazine Got It Wrong) .

Today, was one of the first instances where I've seen the common sense finding refuted in the same article. CNN reported that paraffin-based candles emiited toxic chemicals toluene and benzene.

They found that paraffin-based candles -- the most popular kind -- emitted toxic chemicals like toluene and benzene. Soybean candles did not, according to the study, which was presented this week at the American Chemical Society meeting in Washington, D.C. Candles made of beeswax or soybean tend to make mention of that ingredient on their label; paraffin candles may not.

At the bottom of the article CNN reports, Barbara Miller, a spokesperson for the National Candle Association, says "no candle wax has ever been shown to be dangerous or harmful to human health....that none of the candle waxes tested -- including paraffin, soy wax, and beeswax -- produced benzene."

Which is it? It does or it doesn't? IN 2007 they didn't but in 2009 they do? This is clearly an industry-killer (paraffin candles) finding and that may be why we see such a strong, desperate denial of research findings and common sense.

My personal unscientific take. I can smell the strike of a sulfur match anywhere in the house and get an instant headache from it. I can see the black smoke rising from the flame of a paraffin candle. This is one article I'm sure Ms. Miller hopes would go up in smoke.

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