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Candle wicks with zinc cores.
An example of the element Zinc

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Candle wicks with zinc cores.
Apparently candle wicks sometimes need to be made stiffer than they ordinarily would be, and thus have wire cores put in them. I first heard about this in connection with a recall of candles that turned out to contain lead wires, which turn into lead vapor as the candle is burned. This used to be common, but is now considered something to panic about, due to the toxic nature of lead.
This candle wick, one of a pack of 100 I got on eBay, supposedly has a zinc wire, not lead, which will burn up into relatively harmless zinc oxide as the candle burns. (In high concentrations over long periods of time inhaled zinc oxide can be harmful, but it's not a cumulative poison in the way lead is, so very low levels of exposure such as you would get from a candle do not add up to a problem over the long run.)
Source: eBay seller angellitcandles
Contributor: Theodore Gray
Acquired: 23 December, 2007
Text Updated: 23 December, 2007
Price: $9.25/100
Size: 3"
Purity: >90%
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