The National Candle Association would like to weigh in on the referenced data regarding the safety of scented candles. It is important to note that the mentioned study from South Carolina State University actually came from a slide presentation, not a scientific paper. It was never published in a peer-reviewed journal, and its findings cannot be substantiated. When Dr. Massoudi first presented his findings, which contradicted the overwhelming body of scientific evidence on candle combustion, he provided no quantitative data, was never able to identify the candles he measured or their composition, and could not explain the presence of emissions not associated with candles.
Additionally, the article noted that soy candles should be used over paraffin candles, due to safety concerns. Internationally sponsored studies have been conducted on candles consisting of either soy wax, paraffin wax, beeswax or other commonly used waxes. These studies have definitively shown that the combustion products of all common waxes are virtually identical. Therefore, the combustion products of soy wax are no different than that of paraffin wax. The levels of these combustion products emitted by all candles are well within safety standards when burning candles in the home under normal conditions. For more information, please refer to a summary of the study here: http://candles.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/International-Study-Shows-All-Candle-Waxes-Burn-Alike.pdf
In the future, if you or any of your colleagues have any questions regarding the candle industry, the National Candle Association would be happy to serve as a resource. Additional information can also be found at www.candles.org.
Carol Freysinger, Executive VP, National Candle Assn.