The "Quality Mark Candles" guarantees quality.
A candle which visibly smokes, drips, and therefore burns down much too fast - this trouble can be avoided. Now, there exists the “Quality Mark Candles”.It permits the consumer to identify high-quality candles in the supplied variety. The new “Quality Mark Candles" is exclusively awarded to those products, which have been proven themselves environment as well as health compatible in neutrally controlled tests, and which also show a high, reliable intrisic value.
Consecutively, the "Quality Mark Candles" becomes the evident measure for the conscious consumer, who gives preference to quality instead of to the lowest price.
The "Quality Mark Candles" was presented to the publicity on January 31st, 1998 at the international fair “Premiere” in Frankfurt.
What is the benefit for the consumer?
- The "Quality Mark Candles" ensures a high intrinsic value and constant quality. The products with the quality mark burn, if handled properly, steadily and don't drip. The consumer can be sure that the candle burns as long as notified on the package.
- The "Quality Mark Candles" doesn’t only promise good appearance, but also shows constant and reliable formates, measurements, and properties of the wick.
- The "Quality Mark Candles" guarantees high health and environmental compatibility. Products with the quality mark are showing distincively minimized soot and smoke release. They don't release any hazardous quantities of dioxanes and aromatic polycyclic hydrocarbons. The manufacturers are obliged, to use neither polluted raw materials nor hazardous candle colours and lacquer. So, the sulfur or heavy metal contents are extraordinarily low.
- Furthermore, the quality mark forbids to use the so-called azo colours which can release carcinogenic aromatic amines. A self-restriction, already valid since more than ten years for candles produced in Germany. "This is exemplary" it is said in the December issue of the environmental test magazine “OEKOTEST”. Their editor’s office ordered an extensive investigation on candles.
The study showed "that quite a number of candles are all right" where the RAL quality mark gave a good orientation. Out of 55 coloured candles in total, the test persons only found one product classified as “minor recommendable”.
Which products are allowed to carry the “Quality Mark Candles”?
A manufacturer is only allowed to label his candles with the quality mark, if they passed a comprehensive inspection. The inspection specifications are tangible, objective, and clearly defined. To guarantee a permanent quality standard for his candles, the manufacturer is obliged to perform an ongoing regular monitoring of his products.
The inspection and monitoring specifications in detail:
- Initial inspection. Passing the initial inspection is the prerequisite for being awarded and permitted to use the quality mark label. The samples are to be taken from the current production. Burning time and behaviour are tested in detail, so, the tip of the wick, once the flame has been blown out, continues to glow for a maximum of 15 sec for a slim candle. The used raw materials are also analysed: sulphur and heavy metal contents have to be within the limits of strict threshold values. E. g. the heavy metal contents must be considerably below the European Norm EN 71 for kid’s toys. Tea lights and sanctuary candles must fullfill detailed specifications, adjusted to their usage. The initial inspection is carried out by “DEKRA Umwelt GmbH”, one of the most important inspection companies in Germany.
- The self-monitoring. The self-monitoring guarantees a constant and reliable quality. The manufacturer must control his products continuously. This includes regular burning tests according to the specifications of the initial inspection. The candles from the current production must satisfy the same requirements as the initially tested ones: low in soot and smoke, drip fast, and environment compatible. The detailed results of the self-monitoring must be monitored in forms and archived.
- External monitoring. At minimum, once a year a neutral independent inspector controls the site of the manufacturer. He controls the completeness of the documentation of self-monitorings and their details. In case of an infringement the quality mark can be withdrawn.
The “Quality Mark Candles” is a RAL quality mark: in this country the association “RAL Deutsches Institut fuer Guetesicherung und Kennzeichnung e. V.” ( RAL German Institute for Quality Assurance and Marking) is in charge of the regular usage of the quality mark. They make sure that the quality mark stands for high quality and that the inspection specifications are significant and specific. The “Quality Mark Candle” has been recognized by RAL in August 1997.
The “Quality Mark Candles” is awarded by the European Quality Association for Candles where 28 manufacturers from Germany but also from other European countries are members. Until December 2001, 18 manufacturers have passed the award. They make more than 80 % of the German total production of 100.000 tons. Experts expect that the quality mark will succeed as European standard.