Danger with Candle Lead Emissions by Cathy Flanders

Public Citizen & Health Research Group has filed a petition to issue a legally mandatory ban & recall on the use of lead in candle wicks. I'm hoping to enlist your help by submitting your comments in writing in support of enacting a mandated ban of lead in any & all candles made or sold in the U.S. This is an action that is long overdue, necessary & attainable - but the deadline is June 12th [I know the deadline says that it's June 12th, but I was informed by the CPSC that late arriving comments would be accepted & considered but to get them in asap ;c)]. If you are active in other environmental & public health advocacy lists or groups or keep in contact with people that would support this - it would be so appreciated if you could circulate this with some of the groups you associate with. The petition needs all the support that can possibly be brought together. This is truly a case of every letter counts or they will & fully intend to sweep this again right under the rug with another unenforceable, voluntary and basically meaningless, ban, clearly this is not in the best interests or the safety and welfare of consumers, their families & especially their children or even the "hands-on" candle makers themselves. [The industry & their trade association are pushing for a more lax voluntary action rather than mandatory ban.]. This was an issue back in 1973 & 1974 & should have been taken care of then but in spite of the EPA Administrator at the time urging a mandatory ban...a voluntary ban was approved and then not complied with or even monitored. The EPA study that Mr. Train references was performed in 1974 & determined that - "Burning only two candles three hours each day on a regular basis in the home could increase exposure to airborne lead by a factor of 5 or more. This exposure to lead from candles could equal or exceed the exposure to airborne lead associated with the busiest freeways in America." [keep in mind this was a time when leaded gasoline was still fairly commonplace]. "Inhabitants of homes in which lead wick candles are burned could be exposed to substantial incremental quantities of lead which, if continued on a regular basis would pose a significantly high risk to health especially among children." Mr. Train goes on to say: "In my opinion candles represent an unnecessary incremental source of lead that can readily be controlled. It is my strong recommendation that the Consumer Product Safety Commission do all in it's power to prevent exposure to the substantial and unnecessary source of lead in candles."

To read the complete copy of the referenced letter & other related documents

These are all copies of documents from 1973 & 1974. If you would like to read more on the current pending petitions, these 2 links will fill you in on the details: www.citizen.org/hrg/PUBLICATIONS/1510.htm
At any rate, the CPSC is taking comments from the public regarding this proposal until June 12th. It's unbelievable that in the year 2000 we even need a petition & comment period to ban an insidious poison consumers may be unwittingly releasing into their homes & attempt to fix an erroneous policy on lead in candles from 26 years ago. But the fact remains that's where we stand now. I hope I can count on your participation in submitting comments, possibly even encourage like minded individuals to submit comments as well by sending this out to the other groups & individuals to which you are a member or have affiliations with.

The address where comments need to be sent:
Petition HP 00-3 Requesting a Ban of Candle Wicks Containing Lead and of Candles Containing Such Wicks.
Comments accepted until 6/12/00

ADDRESSES: Comments on the petition should be sent to:
cpsc-os@cpsc.gov With the subject heading: "Petition HP 00-3--Candle Wicks Containing Lead."

Office of the Secretary Consumer Product Safety Commission
Washington, DC 20207
telephone (301) 504-0800
delivered to: Office of the Secretary,
Consumer Product Safety Commission
room 502, 4330 East-West Highway
Bethesda, Maryland 20814.
Comments may also be filed by Fax (301) 504-0127
Comments should be captioned "Petition HP 00-3--Candle Wicks Containing Lead.''
Please be sure to CC the following addresses:

My heartfelt appreciation to those who take the time to respond in support of this petition. I will keep the membership apprised of the petition's progress. Feel free to contact Cathy if you have any unanswered questions pertaining to the petition or the issue in general.