Home air quality is important, especially for the health and happiness of your little precious! Right before Siena was born I read up on the difference between beeswax candles and "regular" paraffin ones. The facts I found were shocking to me. I definitely felt like I should have known this all along...but just glad I found out before she was born. The only serious downside to switching to beeswax is that it costs an arm and a leg compared with "regular" candles. I bought 6 beeswax tea lites, and you wanna get ready to bug out?! It cost $7.50!! for only 6!! compare that to the bag of 100 you can get at ikea for $2.99...and its no wonder more people don't switch. I remember my early years in Steiner school (Waldorf) when we would burn candles, they were always the ones hand rolled from sheets of beeswax with the honey comb pattern. There was no frivolous candle burning there, that's for sure! But it was always a special occasion...which made it seem so much more meaningful...pure...no wonder, we were breathing in good ions! and also...."can be used on sewing needles and thread, fishing line, create beauty products, eliminate door squeaks, door hinges, waterproof your favorite shoes, and has even been known to shape those handle-bar mustaches!" (http://www.beeyondthehive.com/)
*I am quoting Annie Bond below because I like the way she vocalized the info. I'm into it. get into it too, people!
Annie B Bond, author of the eco blog: care2.com, read her full article about candles here. or read the quoted info below.
By Annie B. Bond, author of Home Enlightenment (Rodale, 2005).
Beeswax candles offer a honey scent, a golden flame, and the longest, cleanest burn of any candle. But there is much more benefit to beeswax candles compared to paraffin candles (that are made from polluted petroleum sludge), or even vegetable-based candles that are a big improvement over paraffin. When beeswax candles burn, they clean the air like a great, natural, air purifier, and they are a link to a deep spiritual belief system. For each pound of beeswax provided by a honey bee, the bee visits 33 million flowers. It eats 10 pounds of honey. It secretes the beeswax from its abdomen, and then uses the wax to construct a honeycomb. Beekeepers recover the wax from the comb by heating it in water where the melted wax rises to the surface and can be removed. Many have written about the wisdom of the beehive, and how burning beeswax puts a person in a special mood of reverence. It is easy to imagine why, given that millions of flowers have been visited and pollinated to make any one beeswax candle! Healing and spiritual powers have been attributed to all products of the beehive. Honey has always been considered holy, a gift from God, and endowed with esoteric and mystical qualities. The Path of Pollen, or bee shamanism, is a calling into the secrets of healing, longevity, and spiritual powers of bee products, including honey, wax, and pollen. The Hebrew word for bee is dbure, meaning word, with the message being that the bee brings the Divine word. Specifically beeswax candles are designated for the Christian Roman Mass. To burn a beeswax candle is to enter into the wisdom world of the bee, and you enter, too, into a world of benefits from the bee. Compare this to breathing toxic fumes from paraffin candles! (For more on toxic candles, see Candle Soot. Cleaning the Air by Burning Beeswax CandlesAir contains billions of electrically charged particles called ions. Ions act upon our capacity to absorb and utilize oxygen, and therefore cause powerful effects on our lives and well being. The ions in the air can affect our mood, energy and health. Negative ions actually feel good. Too many positive ions make us feel bad and they are loaded down with pollution and allergens that are drawn to them and suspended in the air. Negative ions, on the other hand, remove the pollution and allergens from positive ions, allowing them to drop harmlessly to the ground. Beeswax candle fuel is the only fuel that actually produces negative ions, which not only helps remove pollution from the air but increases the ratio of negative ions to positive ions, the ideal and necessary scenario for clean air.
AND PS: my new obsession: Lead
****Besides these chemicals, Kaiss K. Al-Ahmady, Ph.D., P.E., of Indoor Air Solutions, Inc. of Tampa Florida, found in testing of over 20 candles, that 30 percent of the metal wire wicks used in some candles can contained lead."We all want to protect ourselves from lead exposure, if this last bit of info isn't enough to get you to stop burning paraffin...then I don't know what to say. I am a mother. I care deeply about these things now that I see my little pure baby being exposed to all these pollutants just by living in a city.