Before the ban in 2003, candles were made with lead-core wicks. The CPSC banned these lead-core wicks because they were five times the amount of lead that was considered hazardous for children, and also exceeded EPA pollution standards.
Lead has been proven to be bad for children, especially children younger than the age of six. Long exposure to lead can cause some serious health problems. Each year in the United States 310,000 1- to 5-year-old kids are found to have unsafe levels of lead in their blood. These high levels of lead exposure can create different symptoms. Some symptoms include headaches, stomach pains, poor behavior and anemia. High exposure to lead can also affect brain growth and development. Exposure to lead for a long period of time is called acute toxicity. If lead is exposed to the blood stream, it can damage red blood cells. Damaging these red blood cells limits their ability to carry oxygen to the rest of the body. Lead can also damage our bones. If lead is exposed to the bone, an interference of the production of blood cells will occur. This interference of blood cells is bad because bones need the absorption of calcium to grow and develop properly. Calcium is essential for healthy, growing bones, teeth, tissues, and blood vessel function.
Lead poisoning is extremely detrimental to our health. Children who have been exposed to high levels will be hospitalized, to receive a treatment called a medication called a chelating agent. This basically binds with more lead, making it weaker, and ready leave the body.
Although candles seem to be a small factor, you should check to see if you are being exposed! With this being said, watch out for the types of candles you are burning in your home! In order to figure out which type of wisk your candle has, you should do the following:
1. Look for a “lead-free” label on your candle
2. Before lighting your candle, rub the tip of the un-light wisk with a piece of paper. If their appears to look like a pencil mark on the paper, demand a refund from the store! This is illegal.
3. If there is a metal core in your candle, there is a lead-core wisk