Can you kill a fish with a candle?

Warning pictograms which may be required on all home fragrance products from June 2015

It sounds like a daft question I grant you but with the introduction of the CLP (Classification, Labelling and packaging) regulations it appears that all candle makers will have to increase the number of warnings and pictograms on their safety information. One of the pictograms is the ‘potentially hazardous to aquatic life’ which shows a picture of a dead fish! Now whilst I appreciate that burning candles can be dangerous if you do daft things, the only way I can see that they’d be dangerous to fish is if you tried throwing them into the water with such force that you stun the poor little blighters…. 

One of the other warnings is the exploding chest signifying that breathing the fumes may be harmful to your respiratory system, this does not look good on a scented candle and I can see that if anyone actually read the warning and safety information, they may be quite put off by this one!

The best one for me is that we might even be required to use the ‘caution may be flammable’ warning pictogram; in the same way that I hope a packet of peanuts does actually contain nuts and not just ‘May contain traces of peanuts’, I’d like a candle to be flammable! In fact, whilst I don’t want it to spontaneously combust or explode, I do want it to stay alight for whatever desired amount of time I choose.

Not only will the warning pictograms be required, but chandlers will also be required to identify the skin sensitisers which are present in the fragrance oils used to make candles, wax melts, reed diffusers and other home fragrance products. Thankfully the majority of suppliers are stepping up to the mark and updating their MSDS’s accordingly making our job a little easier however it will still mean a small tome will accompany each and every product – happy reading everyone.

Don’t get me wrong, I can absolutely see the need for international warning and safety symbols which cross the language barriers; images that allow people who have allergies and sensitivities to choose to use products which won’t harm them. I understand that for people whose health can be adversely effected by certain chemicals there is a need to be advised as to what may be ‘hidden’ in a product and I do feel this new legislation may help to filter out those who think that making candles is easy BUT what I really want to see is an internationally recognised pictogram for ‘take responsibility for your own actions and safety’ or ‘common sense required prior to use’!