This substance is solid and white in color. It is hard and waxy to the touch, with a relatively low melting point of 115 degrees Fahrenheit. Paraffin wax is derived from petroleum and is odorless and tasteless. It is not soluble in water but can be miscible in ether or benzene. It is excellent at heat transference and electrical insulation as it does not conduct a current at all.
Historically speaking, paraffin wax was used in candles as it was more stable and burned better than any other waxes used at the time. However, due to a lower melting point, it did not catch on until the addition of stearic acid made it more resistant to melting. In addition to candles, paraffin wax can be used for electrical applications as it does not conduct a current and therefore can be used as insulation to protect wires. Finally, some homes use paraffin as a means of holding heat. The wax melts during the day and then hardens at night, releasing the heat as the temperature drops.
Paraffin wax is highly stable and although it can melt it is not flammable. It is nondigestible, meaning that it will pass through your system intact. If ingested in large quantities, it could lead to complications as it may clump in your digestive system. Contact with skin will not lead to any irritation. As for safe handling and storage, it should be kept in a cool, dry location.
Paraffin wax is naturally occurring and does not pose any significant environmental threats. It can be disposed of as normal and handled with impunity.