Rain, rain, rain - it's okay.
After cigarette smoking, burning paraffin candles is the #2 cause of poor Indoor Air Quality (IAQ). The burning of paraffin candles releases at least 11 toxins, two of which are well-known cancer causing agents, benzene and toluene. Black soot, or carbon, coats your walls, curtains, and windows with a fine layer of black. Ever have to wash down woodwork covered with black soot? The small particles of soot also travel deep into your lungs. Many paraffin candles still have leaded wicks (added to prevent the wicks from bending!) which, when burned, leave the lead suspended in the air, eventually falling to the ground as house dust. Any added artificial fragrances, like Yankee Candles, when burned ( see the video) cause the IAQ to drop further. Paraffin is non-renewable being made from the leftovers of petroleum production and is then bleached, creating dioxins. Burning paraffin candles create the same fumes as from burning diesel fuel.
Consider the new soy wax candles or the ancient beeswax candles. Soy lasts 20-50% longer than paraffin, burns cleanly, and is made from a renewable source. 100% soy is relatively soft and is sold in containers such as glass or tin. Unlike paraffin, soy wax cleans very easily with hot soap and water. 85% of the soy grown in the U.S. is genetically modified, so look for soy candles that contain non-GMO soy.
Beeswax candles have been around for thousands of years. Like soy, beeswax candles burn cleanly and have a high melting point so they don't drip or smoke. Beeswax has a light honey scent and can be molded into various shapes while being solid enough to be free-standing. They may be more expensive initially, but they last 3-5 times longer than paraffin, (really they do!) so the burning cost per hour is actually less. Be sure to ask for 100% beeswax candles since in the U.S., a candle has to be only 51% beeswax in order to obtain the label "Beeswax". Pure beeswax candles normally develop a white film (or "bloom") caused from minerals rising to the surface which can be wiped off leaving a beautiful glow. Either way, by burning soy or beeswax, you can enjoy that warm and fuzzy feeling and clean air at the same time.
For more information on healthier indoor air, The American Lung Association provides these "Top 10 Tips for a Healthy Home", Top 10
Six Candle Burning Tips -
1 - Switch to Soy and Beeswax candles
2 - Keep all wicks trimmed to 1/4 inch at all time,
a tall bright flame is a dirty flame, time to trim
3 - Minimize drafts which cause smoking and dripping
4 - Avoid artificial fragrances
5 - Never burn wicks with metal, it might be lead
6 - NEVER leave a candle unattended