Is borax safe?
More and more people are making their own household cleaning products. Some do this to save money; while others do so to eliminate their family’s exposure to toxic substances. Many recipes for these green or eco-friendly mixtures call for the use of borax.
The safety of borax has come under scrutiny over the last few years. In an article they published “Borax: Not the green alternative it’s cracked up to be” the Environmental Working Group, an environmental nonprofit health organization, stated that borax is not a green cleaning ingredient and is not recommended for use in the home. Besides causing short-term skin irritation, their report links borax to hormone disruption which causes sexual health issues for women as well as men.
In their article, “The spring purge: Roach killer,” Mother Nature Network lists borax as a poison used to kill cockroaches.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has compiled an extensive list of other products containing borax. The first two items on that list, Prestone’s Super Radiator Sealer and their Stop Leak products, makes one pause.
Environmental Protection Agency studies have linked borax to kidney and liver problems, reproductive issues and nervous system problems. Additionally, they have listed it as a lung and skin irritant. They further added that it accumulates in the body. This means the more you use it and are exposed to it, the more harmful it becomes. Chronic exposure is especially harmful to children.
Recommendations for borax: As a safety precaution, do not use recipes with borax; and taking it even further, Environmental Working Group’s Rebecca Sutton recommends, “I’d advise disposing of it at a household hazardous waste facility, same as any other home use pesticide.”