Do you know someone who has an allergy to soy beans? It’s more common than you think. According to the Asthma and Food Allergy Foundation of America, soy allergies fall within the top nine food allergies for child and adult food allergy patients. Reactions can vary from red and itchy skin to anaphylaxis which needs immediate medical attention with epinephrine.
So, if soy beans can cause death in an untreated individual with a soy allergy, why do soy candles not carry a warning on them? The answer is simply because they don’t need it. Wax, be it soy, paraffin or beeswax, is very non-reactive and even though someone may be allergic to soy in foods, it’s the digested protein that triggers the allergy, not the byproducts of the combustion (mainly carbon dioxide and water). In order for the allergy to take place, the soy must be digested to enter the blood stream. If it’s burned, the protein chains are broken up and are no longer the same molecules that could cause the allergy.
However, an allergy aggravated by scented soy candles is very common, but it’s caused by the added fragrance, not the soy wax. No one is able to predict or determine if they will have a reaction to a particular fragrance. The only way to find out is to burn the candle and observe the outcome. Fragrance materials that are known allergens are not used by the fragrance industry. But, as with foods, some individuals will experience an allergy to a fragrance that the majority of the population has no reaction to.
The bottom line is that no one needs to be afraid of soy wax candles aggravating their soy allergy. If you want to be safe, avoid particular fragrances if you have known allergies to them and if you buy a candle that does bother you, make a note of its fragrance and discontinue its use immediately.