I bet many of us light candles more often during winter time. I’ve always been a little concerned about the pollution from candles made out of stearin, so I decided to find out how bad the pollution is, and what alternatives do we have. Did you know that the most harmful ones emits particles at the same level as one of Denmark’s most polluted roads during the rush hour? That is around 40.000 particles per cm3 (source: Danish National Metrology Institute)! But don’t worry, I have found 3 alternatives for the traditional stearin candle.
No matter the material candles are made of they will always emit particles. The only solution to avoid that is to buy LED candles. I have seen them anywhere, and most of them are actually really realistic looking. Go try your local super market or hardware store.
Soya candles are a great alternative for stearin candles as soya candles emit 80 % fewer particles than stearin candles. It is a bit more expensive, but definitely healthier.
Studies shows that oil lamps with palm oil emit 435 fewer particles than stearin candles. And palm wax candles emit 9 times less than stearin. Anyhow I am not really a big fan of palm oil as the production of palm oil causes deforestation and loss of biodiversity in e.g. Malaysia and Indonesia – the world’s largest producer of palm oil. If you do want to buy palm oil or palm wax candles, make sure to buy sustainable candles or oil with the RSPO certification.
I haven’t found any scientific studies about beeswax candles and how big the pollution is, and therefore I can not recommend them, as there is a risk they are more polluting than stearin candles.