Beeswax is made by nature’s worker bees.  No artificial scents or colours are required and it’s free from petroleum products and chemicals. Beeswax candles last up to three times longer than paraffin wax candles and twice as long as soy candles of the same size. Beeswax candles do not drip and are smokeless.

Northern Light Candle Company uses only the purest, unadulterated, organic beeswax when producing our candles. We believe people should have a choice to make clear decisions via education. What you are breathing whilst burning a paraffin candle may be harmful.

Read more about the benefits of beeswax candles here

Paraffin wax

Paraffin oil (kerosene) and the solid form paraffin wax are petrochemical fuels. It starts as the black sludge that has been rejected by the oil industry.  This petroleum by-product is then bleached with 100% industrial strength bleach, creating toxic dioxins, and changing the colour to its pleasant whiteness. Acrolyn, a known carcinogenic chemical, is then added to form the white sludge into solid white blocks. Once burned, paraffin releases additional carcinogenic toxins such as benzene and toluene into the air causing further issues particular in unventilated rooms.  Paraffin blocks are then sold to companies who may add various other chemicals to texturize, artificial dyes for colour and/or synthetic fragrances to create those great candle smells.

Combine this altogether and you get a very toxic product. Burning candles does not produce high enough temperatures to combust the heavy molecules contained in paraffin wax completel. This leads to the formation and emission of hazardous molecules which can irritate the lungs and trigger asthma attacks.

Dr Amid Hamidi, from South Carolina State University in Orangeburg who conducted studies warning of paraffin candles suggests switching to beeswax candles which produce no detectable levels of harmful chemicals yet provided the warmth and ambience.

Workplace exposure limits due to the fumes created by burning paraffin wax

The ‘exhaust’ or soot from paraffin candles has been examined by the Australian Government’s National Occupational Health and Safety Commission (NOHSC). The NOHSC recommends workplace exposure limits of 2 milligrams of paraffin fume per cubic meter, over an eight-hour period*.

So to be safe, it is permissible to burn 2mg for each cubic meter of air space in a confined room, over an 8 hour period (when you are working/sleeping/resting). Let’s say for example, your room is a 30 cubic meter room, [3 meters x 4 meters x 2.5 meters high}. Each 8 hour paraffin tea light will hold up to 20,000 mg – so, back inside the 30 cubic meter room of workspace, you are permitted only 60mg in this air space, to be safe, over an 8 hour period.

So, inside the 30 cubic meter room with the windows and doors shut, if you are burning 2 paraffin 8-hour tealight candles, you may well need to evacuate that room in under 3 minutes, to be safe. This information is according to almost all international standards on paraffin fume.

Northern Light Candle Company’s candles contain no paraffin.

*Source: Australian Government National Occupational Health and Safety.

Chlorine in beeswax

Almost all candle manufacturers overlook or ignore this very crucial point when attempting to manufacture a clean fume candle. If a candle manufacturer (beeswax or other) is not mentioning that their wax is free from chlorinated water for example, it is most probable that their wax is melted in and absorbing chlorine through chlorinated town, city or potable water. “Chlorine must be avoided as the chlorine is absorbed by the wax and will be released as a toxic gas if burned in a candle” [ p69]. THE ABC AND XYZ OF BEE CULTURE, Morse & Flottum, 1990 According to the National Pollutants Inventory the maximum time weighted exposure to the fumes of Chlorine Dioxide is as little as (TWA) level: 0.1 ppm 0.28 mg/m3 That is one tenth of one part per million! According to the Australian Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, Chlorine fumes are potentially very hazardous and may be seriously detrimental to your health.


Acute health effects: The following acute (short-term) health effects may occur immediately or shortly after exposure to chlorine dioxide: irritate the nose and throat, causing coughing and chest pain; eye irritation with watery eyes and seeing halos around lights; breathing chlorine dioxide can irritate the lungs causing coughing and/or shortness of breath. Higher exposures can cause a build-up of fluid in the lungs (pulmonary oedema), a medical emergency but which might not occur for 24 hours, with severe shortness of breath and possibly death.

Chronic health effects: The following chronic (long-term) health effects can occur at some time after exposure to chlorine dioxide and can last for months or years: irritate the lungs; repeated exposure may cause bronchitis to develop with cough, phlegm, and/or shortness of breath. Permanent lung damage may occur, especially with repeated exposure to the vapours. There is limited evidence that chlorine dioxide may damage the developing foetus.

Entering the body

The substance can be absorbed into the body by inhalation, ingestion of food that has been treated with chlorine dioxide, or skin contact.


People living near industries that produce or use chlorine dioxide. From using disinfectants or bleaches that contain chlorine dioxide. From foods and drinking water that have been treated with chlorine dioxide.

Health guidelines

Australian Drinking Water Guidelines (NHMRC and ARMCANZ, 1996):
Maximum of 1 mg/L (i.e. 0.001 g/L)

Worksafe Australia:
Maximum time weighted exposure (TWA) level: 0.1 ppm 0.28 mg/m3
Maximum short term exposure level (STEL): 0.3 ppm 0.83 mg/m3>

Why in the world of nature’s beauty would anyone paint a beeswax candle?

Why do manufacturers paint beeswax candles? In the name of decorating and marketing, apparently. Why risk it?  Why not buy some flowers? Under fire decomposition, paints and scents in fume can be by far more more dangerous to you and/or your children’s health, especially where there are heavy metals involved in the ingredients, such as paints. One should be very cautious if you choose to buy or burn a candle that has been decorated, or potentially worse, painted or dyed or perfumed. Why?
  • The paints and dyes on painted candles are petro chemicals.
  • Paint fumes under fire decomposition are very toxic.
  • Paints on painted candles have been known to harbour heavy metals such as Cadmium.
  • Paint fumes under fire decomosition {while burning a candle or painted wood in your fire place for example} may be very detrimental to toddlers, pregnant women and unborn children and may cause feotal abnormalities.
  • Paints {both oil and water based} contain petro chemicals. Hot beeswax will absorb certain petro chemicals into the wax. If you can see pigments of paint in the bottom of a candle around the base of the wick, it is most likely that the invisable petro chemicals of the paint have already been absorbed into the hot wax then suffered further fire decomposition and may be leaving traces of very harmful fumes.
It begs reason why anyone seeking a cleaner fume candle would take the risk of burning paint in a confined space such as your home. According to Environmental Health News published by Environmental Health Sciences, children breathing fumes from water-based paints have high risk of asthma and allergies. “Children who sleep in bedrooms with fumes from water-based paints and solvents are two to four times more likely to suffer allergies or asthma, according to a new scientific study. Swedish and U.S. scientists measured the compounds – propylene glycol and glycol ethers – in the bedroom air of 400 toddlers and preschoolers, and discovered that the exposed children had substantially higher rates of asthma, stuffy noses and eczema. The irony is that these compounds are supposed to be healthier than the old, high-polluting, oil-based paints and solvents.” By Marla Cone
 Editor in Chief, 
Environmental Health News According to the American Lung Association one of the top five indoor air pollutants is VOC’s. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are emitted as gases from certain solids or liquids. VOCs include a variety of chemicals, some of which may have short- and long-term adverse health effects. Concentrations of many VOCs are consistently higher indoors (up to ten times higher) than outdoors. VOCs are emitted by a wide array of products numbering in the thousands, including paints.