A candlelit evening can give you and your heart-throb more than a romantic glow
A candlelit evening can give you and your heart-throb more than a romantic glow. Candlewicks are often treated with lead to stiffen them and give a more even burn. But burning the candle releases fine particles of toxic lead into the air. Just four hours of burning can produce levels of lead in the room that are four to 13 times the safe limit of 1.5 microgram per cubic metre set by the US Environmental Protection Agency. Most lead-containing candles are manufactured in the Far East. American and European manufacturers generally use zinc to stiffen the wick and a ban on the sale of leaded candles is currently being considered in the US.
An estimated 10 per cent of candles available in Canada have lead wicks, according to Health Canada. When buying, Health Canada suggests you ask the retailer if the candles contain lead wicks. For candles you already have at home, here's how to check for lead: