Candles are cylindrical (block shaped wax or tallow) with a wick in the middle which gives light when lit. A chandler is known as one who makes candles. There are various uses of candle. In the ancient times, candles were commonly used as a source of light. Records show that the Egyptians were the first set of people to invent and use something similar to a candle. They used torches or rush lights; these however, had no wick like the ones used today. The rush lights were made by immersing and drenching the pithy core of the reeds into liquefied animal fat.
WHAT ARE THE USES OF CANDLES?
There are other uses of candles asides being utilized as a source of light. They are:
- Used to telling the time
In the olden days, candles were used to tell the time. The particular candle used for this purpose had time measurements, typically in hours on the wax which not only served as a symbol but also made it easier to read as well as tell the time. An imperial dynasty in China, the Song dynasty made use of candle clocks in the mid-tenth century. Candle clocks in the 18th century, were produced with weights which in turn was placed at the sides. The weights fell into a bowl as the candle liquefied and made a noise. Advent candle was a special kind of candle burnt days to Christmas; this also was a way for telling people what time of the year it was.
In these contemporary times with the evolvement of technology and inventions, candles are now largely utilized for creative as well as esthetical purposes. The use of candles now goes beyond telling the time and illuminating dark places. If these were the only uses of candles maybe they will not be in existence today (if they were, their level of recognition will be very low); because with the introduction of clocks and watches as well as the invention of light bulbs (in the year 1879), there will almost be no need for them. But this is not the case.
- They are used in celebrations
Candles are used today in celebrations especially intimate and romantic ones. Making use of candles is a great way to commemorate celebrations like birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, proposals and many other beautiful moments. It gives a sweet feeling, adds color and beauty to the room and pictures and also long- lasting happy memories to the individuals involved.
- They are aesthetically pleasing
Aesthetically, candles have a way of adding style to any room. Since they come in different shapes, sizes, types, colours, they can compliment any kind of living space. From pot candles to sparklers, cartridge, glass, pillar, taper, tea, votive, liquid, birthday, container, floating, gel wax, beeswax, bayberry wax, unscented, paraffin wax, flameless, trick, citronella, scented, soy, wood wick, multiple wick candles and so on; there is a candle out there that suits every aesthetic style and personal preference.
- They are used in aromatherapy
Scented candles, as the name implies, are candles that give off a particular aroma or fragrance. Some people say that the act of burning scented candles is a quick fix for utmost and quintessential escapism; as they give any interior a warm glow just like their counterparts. Be that as it may, their scent does not make them stand out only it is what gives any interior an authentic recognition as well as distinctiveness. More often than not, scented candles are made up of three levels: top, central and base notes.
As the name connotes, top notes are the first scents to be recognized followed by the central notes, which play the role of the core and lastly the base notes which most of the time are domineering and evolve gradually. They set a particular tone, cover-up unpleasant smell, and in addition enhance the aura of any room. Scented candle has a wide range of fragrance types accessible for purchase; from woodsy as well as masculine to floral as well as feminine, from herbal to earthy to airy and clean and so many more.
Scented candles have benefits but it is often said that whatever has an advantage also has a disadvantage. Scented candles can give off a sweet and pleasant aroma that is soothing and attractive; however, they come with real health hazards as well.
WHY ARE SCENTED CANDLES HARMFUL?
Scented candles can be said to have a negative effect because they are made of paraffin wax (a product of petroleum waste that is chemically bleached), lead-core wick and may have a synthetic fragrance. These factors will most likely affect people with chemical sensitivity, asthma and allergy a great deal (although, constant exposure to these chemicals is not good to anyone’s overall health).
Paraffin wax when burned releases harmful toxic substances such as benzene and toluene (these are carcinogens). The fume from diesel and the petro-soot emitted from burning a candle made of paraffin are one and the same. It can be as harmful as second-hand fume.
Usage of lead-core wicks in scented candles is a medium of spreading toxins. Candles should be made of either paper or cotton wicks but some are made of lead-core which when burned emits five times the quantity of actual lead dangerous to health. Exposure of the candle extricates hazardous pollutants that can be absorbed by the skin.
Synthetic fragrance in scented candles also causes harm, as it holds a toxic substance known as phthalates, which when emitted might be inhaled and absorbed into the skin and cause great harm. This toxic pollutant has the ability to exasperate and trigger asthma symptoms and allergy immediately it gets into the bloodstream.
In conclusion, scented candles are beautiful and attractive, they have benefits but also have negative impacts because of the substances mentioned above. Frequent exposure to these substances triggers or causes illnesses. The inhalation or absorption of these toxins is detrimental to the health and overall wellbeing of a person. Instead of giving up the warm glow of candlelight because of these toxic substances, you can choose candles that are: unscented, made with cotton or paper wicks, and produced with natural products such as soy.