Sodium Borate (Borax)
EWG Risk Score:
What is it?
Sodium Borate is a mineral salt that's used as an emulsifier, pH adjuster, and slight saponifier.
- One study of fruit flies showed decreased fertility, lifespan, and reproduction in flies fed small amounts of borax. However, this study of mining workers who were exposed to borax daily showed no decrease in fertility. From the studies available, it does not appear to be a human reproductive toxin.
- As with most powders, sodium borate can irritate lungs. However, a study of mine workers exposed to sodium borate dust found no long-term effects of exposure.
- Borax, when ingested in moderate amounts can be toxic. Moderate doses can impair immune function. (Source.)
- Minute amounts of borax have been found to be absorbed through the skin. (Source.)
- One interesting study found that DNA mutations caused by Titanium dioxide were significantly reduced by the presence of Sodium Borate.
While borax can be a lung irritant while in powder form, and a skin irritant on sensitive skin, and an ingredient one would avoid ingesting, there appears to be no long-term health effects from small exposures, such as would be in a lotion or cream or laundry detergent.