Making candles is, in most cases, not a hobby that one would consider harmful. But in the process of making candles, there is one step that might be toxic to some, especially in the case of a pregnant woman.
The Chemical composition of some essential oils can be toxic for someone pregnant. However, this is only toxic when taken in large doses and in closed areas. Also, some scented candles might be harmful.
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If my wife were expecting a child today, I probably would not want her to take any kind of risk, even if it is a tiny one. I know I am probably overprotective, but I rather am safe than sorry. Having said that, how big of a risk would my wife take if she would make candles today? I mean, there is not much that is happening that can be toxic when you make candles, right? Or is there?
What parts are toxic when making candles?
Making candles is a pretty straightforward process. You melt the wax, add some oil, and once that’s done, you add your essential oil or (not too much) fragrance, and you let it rest, and voila your candle is ready. You can light it up, and it will probably smell really lovely, especially if you’ve used essential oil (or fragrance) with the right dosage.
So what part would you think is toxic or might be toxic for someone pregnant? Well, the only part that is (or might be) toxic is probably the essential oils used to add to your candles. Dr. Amos Grunebaum, at www.babymed.com, says that some essential oils can be harmful to pregnant women.
He says, “some essential oils are proven to harm pregnant women, including possible uterine bleeding, toxicity with regular use, or perceived risk of miscarriage,” you can find the full article here. However, I must say this is in regard to aromatherapy, and they are not referring to candles or candles, making essential oils. But logically it should be the same.
Also, you should not forget the number of essential oils used in aromatherapy is not even near the amount you would use when making candles.
There is a list of essential oils that are commonly considered to be harmful to pregnant women. However, I want to emphasize how important it is to consult your Obstetrician before making any decision.
The Internet is a place where you can find information but in most cases, there are not enough studies or tests to back their claim. So take it with a grain of salt and again, contact your Obstetrician!
Here is the list:
- Clary sage
- Cinnamon leaf
- Oak Moss
- Parley Seed or Leaf
It’s not really clear.
I do not know if you noticed, but I discussed earlier that there is only one part that might be toxic DURING the making of the candle. But it seems that there are some contradictories when it comes to harmful substances when breathing in essential oils for pregnant women, or scented candles being harmful to pregnant women.
It even goes as far as some chemicals may cause cancer. At nationwidechildrens.com, David Stukus says differently. He says,” This is an example of the media taking laboratory studies involving mice or single cells and inappropriately extrapolating them to humans in normal living conditions.”
Based on the full article which you can find here, it seems that unless you have an underlying condition, scented candles are generally safe.
However, it does not mean that these scented candles do not release anything chemical into the air.
In fact, if you were to have asthma or allergies, for example, your airways might get irritated, says David Stukus.
On the other hand, I could find multiple forums and articles where they clearly are saying that in no way that it would be harmful like this article, for example.
In general, three things can be harmful that have to do with candles for a pregnant person
Essential oils: We already discussed this one above.
Burning scented candles: Also discussed, although not really clear how trustworthy the information is.
Candle Wicks: This one is probably not really a problem, but I found the information intriguing, so I thought I’d share it with you.
Wicks candles that contained a lead core. Ever heard of it? I know I didn’t.
You may find a lot of articles online that claim that candle wicks are made out of a lead core and that they are extremely dangerous and could even cause cancer in some cases. It seems that this is not true at all, and the reason for this is very simple, they got banned by the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission in 2003! So technically, you should not be able even to buy them!
Rob Harrington, Ph.D., a toxicologist with the national candle Association, says, “Lead wicks have been banned in the United States for almost two decades. But we constantly hear that candles have lead wicks, and we want people to understand that that is not the case; it hasn’t been for years and years.”
In my honest opinion, I could not find anything conclusive that could help my wife whether she would be able to make candles or not. What I would suggest and what we would do in this situation is basically to ask our Obstetrician what to do.
I think this is the best advice I can give after extensive research. What you also could do is simply not take the risk and stay away from anything that has a scent with chemicals within candles or any product for that matter. This way, you are 100% safe.