Candle-making is an important industry in America, with a deep-rooted history that dates back to colonial times (Farmer, 2012). Substance and scent have always been the heart of this cherished industry. While the debate over the use of parabens and phthalates in many household products continues, this essay asserts the necessity of using paraben and phthalate-free fragrance oils in the art of candle-making. A variety of reliable scientific and environmental resources support this assertion, making a solid case for this ethical and health-centered switch.
Understanding Parabens and Phthalates
Parabens, according to the FDA, are preservatives that have been widely used in cosmetic and pharmaceutical products since the 1950s to prevent bacteria and mold growth (U.S. Food & Drug Administration, 2020). Phthalates, on the other hand, are chemical substances used to increase the flexibility and durability of plastic materials. They are usually found in various consumer products, including soaps, shampoos, and even candles (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2021).
Several studies have indicated potential health risks linked with persistent exposure to parabens and phthalates, extensively utilized in many consumer goods. Studies have linked parabens with hormone disruption, cancer, and reproductive toxicity (Darbre, 2019). Similarly, phthalates have been suggested to interfere with the human endocrine system causing potential health hazards such as reproductive problems and developmental complications in children (Huang PC et al., 2017).
The Candle Industry, Parabens, and Phthalates
The candle-making industry has not been spared from the infiltration of these chemical preservatives and softeners. The enticing scents in many candles are derived from synthetic fragrance oils, some of which contain parabens and phthalates, potentially leading to unconscious, widespread exposure to these chemicals (Dodson RE et al., 2012).
The Case for Paraben-free and Phthalate-free Fragrance Oils
Given the rising health concerns, it's prudent for candle makers to reconsider the nature of the fragrance oils they use. The use of paraben-free and phthalate-free fragrance oils is more than introducing a new trend in the industry—it's about promoting public health and safeguarding the environment. By using healthier and more sustainable alternatives, candle businesses can invoke trust while acting responsibly toward the collective wellness of the globe.
Healthier alternatives of fragrance oils in candle making not only ensure human wellness but also contribute to biodiversity conservation. For instance, essential oils derived from plants promote cruelty-free and sustainable practices (Salleh, 2019). The time has come for the candle industry to adopt better practices and advocate for paraben-free and phthalate-free products.
While the candle industry is faced with a myriad of evolving challenges, its regulations need to mirror the global trend toward a healthier and sustainable future. Shifting towards paraben-free and phthalate-free fragrance oils in candle-making is a necessity, given the clear-cut scientific evidence linking these chemicals to a variety of health issues. While transitioning completely to chemical preservative-free and softener-free products may be a gradual process, its benefits for a healthier tomorrow are immense and indisputable.
With the illumination of a single candle, let's pave the path for a radiant, health-oriented future that gleams with responsibility towards humankind and mother nature.
1. Farmer, B. (2012). A Brief History of The Candle in America. Retrieved from https://www.campbelllight.com/a-brief-history-of-the-candle-in-america/
2. U.S. Food & Drug Administration (2020). Parabens in Cosmetics. Retrieved from https://www.fda.gov/cosmetics/cosmetic-ingredients/parabens-cosmetics
3. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (2021). Phthalates Factsheet. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/biomonitoring/Phthalates_FactSheet.html
4. Darbre, P. (2019). Towards a Safer Future: Chemical exposure and potential adverse environmental and human health effects. Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0300483X19302525
5. Huang PC, et al. (2017). Childhood exposure to phthalate and allergy in Taiwan. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27677928/
6. Dodson RE, et al. (2012). Endocrine Disruptors and Asthma-Associated Chemicals in Consumer Products. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22615557/
7. Salleh, N., (2019). Vanilla Plantation to Perfume Bottle: Pioneering Study Examines Aftermarket Performance of Fragrance Products. Retrieved from https://phys.org/news/2019-12-vanilla-plantation-bottle-aftermarket-fragrance.html