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Lead in Candles Can Endanger Children

February 25, 2000|Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Burning candles could put enough lead into the air to endanger children under 6, said a study released Thursday by a consumer advocacy group.

Of 285 candles bought in the Washington area, the cotton wicks in 86 were stiffened with metal and nine of those used high amounts of lead, the Public Citizen study said.

Seven of the candles in the nine that contained lead came from China or Taiwan, one from Canada and one from the United States, the study found.

U.S. candle makers agreed in 1974 to stop using lead.

The group said candles with lead can be identified by peeling back the cotton wick, exposing the metal and rubbing it on white paper. A zinc wick will leave no trace, but a lead core will leave a gray mark.

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