Something is causing victims to burst into flames. Fires catch and spread faster than they should when exposed to fuels like clothing and bedding. It acts like gasoline, but these were all accidental deaths. So what’s the culprit? It may be paraffin.
What Is Paraffin, Anyway?
Paraffin wax is a byproduct of petroleum jelly, and it’s incredibly flammable. This waxy substance is a common ingredient in many products, and it’s a great sealant for many crafts. Unfortunately, it comes with flashpoint. Because it’s ultimately made from petroleum, it will suddenly burst into flames when exposed to the right amount of heat, just like – well – petroleum.
Plenty of things we use in everyday life have flammable properties, but they usually carry warnings. Products with paraffin wax may not be properly labeled, so users have no idea their skincare products could kill them. This issue has already led to a number of deaths, and UK authorities believe even more deaths by fire may be directly linked to skincare products with paraffin wax.
Using the occasional ointment with a bit of paraffin wax is not a death sentence. Your lifestyle and habits play a huge role into your chances of spontaneously combusting. Skincare products rub off onto other materials, including flammable objects like your clothes and sheets. If you regularly wear a product with paraffin but don’t frequently change or wash your clothes or sheets, then you increase your chances of an incident. Obviously, flame-related habits like smoking make terrible accidents even more likely.
Over time, paraffin wax builds up on materials, so repeatedly wearing your favorite comfy sweater after you apply your favorite balm for dry skin in the evening may make you a little too cozy. Your bed is one of the biggest dangers, especially if you smoke there. Don’t brush off these warnings if you don’t smoke, though. Candles, gas ovens, and any other heat-generating item can cause the same disaster.
Where You May Find It
Sometimes paraffin wax is obvious. If you have a spa style wax melting device designed to treat chronic hand or foot pain, then you probably dip your hands in this product regularly. Since this is such a high concentration of wax, you need to be extra careful to clean it off very well after treatment. Make sure to clean your clothes regularly, and bathe between this treatment and bedtime.
Paraffin also appears in ointments and balms, so if you use special treatments for dry or sensitive skin, you need to take a second look at your products’ ingredient lists. Apart from flammability, paraffin is just bad for your skin. It’s known to clog pores, so it may create secondary skin conditions like acne.
All in all, paraffin isn’t the best material for skincare in the first place. The mounting evidence of its role as a fire hazard should make you think twice about the products you use. For your safety and the safety of those around you, try something new. You’ll probably find an even better skincare solution during your search. Then you’ll be healthier and safer.