Substance composed of varying proportions of esters, acids, alcohols and hydrocarbons and similar in composition to fats. Waxes are relatively stable compounds and have a low toxicity and mild odour. Most natural waxes are solid at room temperature but soften or liquefy at higher temperatures. They are insoluble but emulsify easily in water and are soluble in some organic solvents (e.g. turpentine). Waxes range in colour from white through yellow to brown and black, although they can discolour when exposed to natural light or due to the action of additives or solvents.