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Mythbusters - Chlorine in Beeswax

I've just had my third phone call for the month by a concerned customer who had been on another beeswax candle company website and was asking about whether there was chlorine in our beeswax.  She directed me to the site.  Apart from the fact that the information on the website is misleading and deceptive, the claims are fear-mongering and causes panic where there is no need for alarm.  There are enough genuine concerns for us to worry about in terms of chemicals in our lives without someone intentionally misleading people.

Amongst many other ridiculous, grandiose claims and lies, the (misleading and deceptive) website claims:

"Chlorine in beeswax

Almost all candle manufacturers overlook or ignore this very crucial point when attempting to manufacture a clean fume candle.

If a candle manufacturer {beeswax or other} is not mentioning that their wax is free from chlorinated water for example, it is most probable that their wax is melted in and absorbing chlorine through chlorinated {town/city/potable} water.

“Chlorine must be avoided as the chlorine is absorbed by the wax and will be released as a toxic gas if burned in a candle” [ p69].
THE ABC AND XYZ OF BEE CULTURE, Morse & Flottum, 1990"

A quick fact check reveals that the paragraph that he quotes from The ABC and XYZ of Bee Culture, Morse & Flottum, 1990 is taken completely out of context.  This particular part of the book (which is an invaluable beekeeping reference guide) is discussing options for chemically bleaching beeswax.  The relevant paragraph reads as follows:

"We cannot emphasize too strongly that there are several dangers and precautions to be taken when processing beeswax.  For example, bleaches using chlorine, which is an excellent bleaching agent, must be avoided as the chlorine is absorbed by the wax and will be released as a toxic gas if burned in a candle." [emphasis added]

cleaning beeswax The ABC and XYZ of Bee Culture, Morse & Flottum, 1990 (pg 69)

I couldn't agree more.  They are talking about pouring raw chlorine into the wax to bleach it.

I can only speak for Queen B when I say that there is no chlorine (or any other chemical) used in our cleaning process.  Nor that of our beekeepers, all of whom we've audited prior to buying wax, and whom we've had relationships going on for a decade now.  In fact, I don't know a single beekeeper who uses chlorine (or any chemicals) to clean their wax.  [The book, now in its 40th edition,  was first published in 1877.  It's age old wisdom has been standard practice in the industry for over 100 years.]  At Queen B we use the age-old process of purifying and cleaning our beeswax with water, time (to allow impurities to settle) and filters.  The filtration we use would certainly not be industry standard and is the result of a decade of trial (& error) and thorough testing.  We've 'kissed a lot of frogs' learning what we've learned.  We've also read all the literature and learned from our forefathers... both in beekeeping and in candlemaking.

I guess this is another reminder that unfortunately, even on the side of "good" there is the occasional evil person.  If you have bought in to any of the claims on this website, can I suggest that you ask to see the claimed organic certification for their wax.  Can I also suggest that you read our post about the pigments we use for our, world-renowned, rolled pillar range.  And, can I respectfully suggest, that if a company is a proven liar, who has no compunction in misleading and deceiving potential (and actual) customers and who actively seeks to cause fear where there is no cause for alarm, that you should not buy their products.  This is a company that claims on their home page to have been manufacturing pure beeswax candles since 1975 (although they claim on another page that they made their first tealight in 1993) and yet made all of their beeswax candles from a blend of beeswax and macadamia nut oil until Queen B launched pure beeswax tealight, votive and pillar candles... all the while ranting on their website about the fume dangers of burning an oil!  And those are statements of fact... and in context!

It is challenging enough to run a manufacturing business in Australia, hand-making natural products, without having to spend time countering bogus claims.  I am always grateful when misled consumers call because I can give them the facts... do the research... find the evidence.  What really horrifies me is all those customers who believe the claims and don't call.  Who don't know me and hence don't know that the integrity of a Queen B candle is unimpeachable.  Who don't have the opportunity to experience the beauty of a Queen B candle because they bought the lies.  Who are misled and deceived.  It is enough to make a grown bee cry..  And the greatest shame is that they are sullying an industry that has so much goodness in it.

... I'm off to light more (Queen B!) candles and a smudge stick just to remove their energy from our hive.

Yours in truth, facts and light,

Cate xx

6 thoughts on “Mythbusters - Chlorine in Beeswax”

  • pu

    i wouldn't believe there's chlorine in your candles. thats just silly.

    Reply
    • queenbcandles

      :-)

      Well put. Anyone who knows me or has the time to get a sense of me by reading through the website would know it's silly... what I worry about is all the time poor people who trust what they read and/or don't know me and/or don't have time to do their own research.

      Thanks for your beautiful comment though... made me smile.

      Cate

      Reply
  • Serene

    I have been worrying about the chlorine in your candles, and thought I should stop further purchase after I burn up the last supplies. I am so glad to see the flashing banners on your website that explain the confusing info. I am one of the those customers who don't call.

    Reply
  • queenbcandles

    Oh Serene - I so appreciate your comment but it actually also wants to make me alternately cry and scream. I know his misleading and deceptive claims are affecting our business and this guy is acting completely illegally (not to mention immorally) and getting away with it because the ACCC aren't doing anything about it - I think they're probably overworked, underfunded or it is just too small a fish to fry. I am so pleased that the banner you needed to see found you and that you came back to our website to look for some reason... there are angels after all - and you must have known intuitively that there was more to be said on the matter. Thanks so much for sharing your comment.

    xx

    Reply
  • Maria

    Thank you for information. And all the best in your continuous labour of love in making your candles and standing up for what you believe to bee true.

    Reply
    • queenbcandles

      Thanks Maria... luckily we all absolutely love making light here at the hive and we consider it the ultimate privilege to make light for others. I know it sounds a little trite, but the feeling is genuine. Thanks for your beautiful note. Cate xx

      Reply
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