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Candles with lead wicks

Candles with lead wicks

A candle is usually a column of wax with a wick at the centre for burning. Some candle wicks have a very thin metal centre used to keep the wick upright while burning.  If this core is made of lead, unsafe levels of lead can be released into the air while burning. These candles can be identified by a silvery or dark lead core in the fabric of the wick. Candles with wicks that contain lead in a quantity greater than 0.06% are banned. 

Candles containing more than 0.06% of lead when burned in an enclosed area for a long time can release high levels of lead into the atmosphere and cause lead poisoning. Lead poisoning in unborn babies, small children and pregnant women can lead to:

  • impaired growth
  • hearing loss
  • behaviour problems
  • respiratory problems
  • impaired short term memory
  • reproductive disorders
  • memory loss
  • nerve disorders.
Bans

Bans

The permanent ban on candles with lead wicks came into effect in October 2002. This page includes information on hazards and how to comply with the ban.
Recalls

Recalls

Check www.recalls.gov.au for any recalls related to this page.

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