June 24, 2015


Roxanna's Candles takes great care in ensuring we keep out the bad stuff from our products, and only use natural and clean-burning materials in our candles. 


This is why we only use phthalate-free fragrances. But what is a phthalate? If we got a penny for every time we were asked that question, we'd be independently wealthy. 


So, today we're tackling the question head-on by explaining first what a phthalate is, and then exploring some of the dangers of phthalates using a plethora of research and studies. We will summarize the conclusions of the articles, but will also include all the references, so you can (if you have lots of time and desire) read the entire articles for yourself.

Let's start with the basics...




Phthalates (derived from phthalic acid) are chemical compounds that began being used in plastics as early as the 1920s, in order to replace the smelly plasticizer known as camphor. 


Phthalates allow long polyvinyl molecules to slide against each other. In other words, phthalates make plastics flexible, less brittle, and harder to destroy. Phthalates are commonly used in numerous industrial, household, and cosmetic products, such as cars, swimming pools, pharmaceutical supplies, food packaging, detergents, nail polish, shampoo, perfume, and hairspray, and... candles. 

Phthalates are often used in candles and other scented items to help the fragrance bond with the product in which it is being used. Their low volatility and heat resistance make phthalates great chemical additives for such products! Or, are they...




Although there is still work to be done in studying the dangers of phthalates, current research strongly suggest their many scary effects on the human body, starting as early as in utero. 


Phthalates are strongly linked to premature delivery (1), low birth weight (2), childhood ADHD (3) (4), conduct disorders (4), deficits in children's intellectual development (5), obesity (6) (7), and are correlated with reproductive development defects (8) (9) (10), insulin resistance and diabetes (7).


One study provides data, although not conclusive, linking phthalates to Human Testicular Dysgenesis Syndrome (10).

Research on the correlation between phthalates and diseases as serious as breast cancer is also ongoing. 




When we started Roxanna's Candles, we took a stand against using phthalates in our products. What we put into the air and ultimately into our bodies is a big deal to us. 


We want you to have the assurance that when you burn a Roxanna's Candle, you're burning only the best. You can breathe easy, knowing our 100% soy wax, phthalate free, wooden wick candles are natural and clean. Nothing but the best, from the best. 




(1) "Chemical In Common Consumer Products (Phthalates) May Play A Role In Pre-term Births". 2009-07-07. doi:10.1289/ehp.0800522

(2) "Exposure To Phthalates May Be A Risk Factor For Low Birth Weight In Infants". 2009-06-25. doi:10.1016/j.jpeds.2009.04.00


(3) Bung-Nyun Kim, Soo-Churl Cho, Yeni Kim, Min-Sup Shin, Hee-Jeong Yoo, Jae-Won Kim, Young Hee Yang, Hyo-Won Kim, Soo-Young Bhang, Yun-Chul Hong Biological Psychiatry - 15 November 2009 (Vol. 66, Issue 10, pp. 958-963), doi:10.1016/j.biopsych.2009.07.034

(4) Engel SM, Miodovnik A, Canfield RL, Zhu C, Silva MJ, Calafat AM, Wolff MS (2010). "Prenatal Phthalate Exposure Is Associated with Childhood Behavior and Executive Functioning"Environ. Health Perspect. 2010 Jan 8. [Epub ahead of print] (4): 565–71. doi:10.1289/ehp.0901

(5) Factor-Litvak, P; Insel, B; Calafat, A. M.; Liu, X; Perera, F; Rauh, V. A.; Whyatt, R. M. (2014). "Persistent Associations between Maternal Prenatal Exposure to Phthalates on Child IQ at Age 7 Years". PLoS ONE 9 (12): e114003. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0114003. PMC 4262205. PMID 25493564

(6) "Phthalate, environmental chemical is linked to higher rates of childhood obesity". 2012-06-26

(7) Stahlhut RW, van Wijngaarden E, Dye TD, Cook S, Swan SH (June 2007). "Concentrations of Urinary Phthalate Metabolites Are Associated with Increased Waist Circumference and Insulin Resistance in Adult U.S. Males"Environ. Health Perspect. 115 (6): 876–82. doi:10.1289/ehp.9882. PMC 1892109. PMID 17589594

(8) Swan SH, Main KM, Liu F, Stewart SL, Kruse RL, Calafat AM, Mao CS, Redmon JB, Ternand CL, Sullivan S, Teague JL (August 2005). "Decrease in Anogenital Distance among Male Infants with Prenatal Phthalate Exposure". Environ. Health Perspect. 113 (8): 1056–61. doi:10.1289/ehp.8100. PMC 1280349. PMID 16079079

(9) Barrett, Julia R. (2005). "Phthalates and Baby Boys: Potential Disruption of Human Genital Development". Environ Health Perspect 113 (8): A542. doi:10.1289/ehp.113-a542a. PMC 1280383

(10) Salazar-Martinez E, Romano-Riquer P, Yanez-Marquez E, Longnecker MP, Hernandez-Avila M (2004). "Anogenital distance in human male and female newborns: a descriptive, cross-sectional study". Environ Health 3 (1): 8. doi:10.1186/1476-069X-3-8. PMC 521084. PMID 15363098

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