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Borax (Sodium Borate)

Today's Chemical:

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. 

Safety Info:

  • 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. 

Steph's Opinion:

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.

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Reader Comments (30)

I'm in the pro-borax camp, my mrs, after an immune system drop developed CIN1 caused by HPV 16. Boron/boric acid is a protease inhibitor and disrupts the lifecycle of the virus by 'attacking' the E6 and E7 proteins that cause the neoplasia.
A study done in Turkey on 3000 + women from low socio-ecconomic backgrounds, half from areas of boron rich soils and half from low boron soil areas. Although both groups displayed the same prevalance of HPV, there were 0% cytological findings from the boron rich group compared to 30% in the other group.
Another comprehensive study from Romania showed how adequate boron protects against breast cancer by increasing free testosterone in the blood at
levels of 10-12mg per day.
It also protects against lung, prostate,cervical,gastro-intestinal and liver cancer. Search for boron and hpv and look for the 'boron compounds in the treatment and prevention of breast cancer' study
It regulates the calcium/phosphate mechanisms in the body to keep calcium in the bones where it should be and I would reccomend magnesium supplimentation to help this process in someone with arthritis or osteoporosis. The Chinese even had 50-70% success rates in using boron to treat skeletal fluorosis!
'The Borax Conspiracy' is a good place to start but is not completely accurate although the dosing methods are good.
In short (lol) 12-20mg of boron per day with Mg suppliments, adequate Vit D, and a healthy 4:1 ratio of omega 6 to long chain fish based omega 3 will keep you in good shape.
The use of pesticides and modern farming methods probably leach most of the boron from the soil so expect to be consuming less than 1mg per day, even with a healthy diet, best of luck folks

Fri, November 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRoger

PS - I would like to think that people would try something if they have a problem rather than denounce those who are trying to help (at no benefit to themselves). Thanks Stephanie

Sat, May 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterEddie

Not sure if this post went through.
It's nice to read these comments. I read quite a bit about Borax before I decided to try some as an everyday supplement. Been taking now for at least 2 years. While eating breakfast, take the spoon and dip half way into Borax. Tap off so there is a light smear on the surfaces. If I mention this to someone during a conversation about bone soreness or arthritis, most won't try but are quite happy to put up with the bone issues. I'm 66, have no bone issues (yet). We're happy to ingest anything a 'professional' suggests but if something like Borax or Sodium Bicarbonate is mentioned - horror. Interestingly ENO is basically Sodium Bi - sold as as an antacid but is 10x the cost. Just tastes better.

Sat, May 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterEddie

I am a health freak and fine with that label. I run 10 km every day, am healthy and 58. Only use a handful of vitamins every day and I have been drinking 1 ml borax for years in a litre of water and the HIGHLY TOXIC is making me laugh. Please, people, do your research! It is only poisonous for insects and I use it for that purpose as well. I rinse my dogs after their bath with water mixed with borax and apple cider vinegar. From time to time I wash my hair with borax and it works fine, except I get bored with it.. Thank you for the useful information on this website.

Sat, May 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterChristine

So am I to assume that a shampoo/conditioner with Sodium Borate (Borax) and papaya extract would not be good? Since papaya contains Vitamin C?

Sat, June 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterArlene

The "LD50" ,meaning lethal dose,of salt is 100 times more toxic than borax.I mixed a glass of water & about 2-tbsps of borax for cleeaning & my visitor brother drank the glass thinking it was water. Minor stomach upset,but survived.Boron is available in vegies & good for plant growth & human bones,3-9milligrams,prox,daily for health, which is 3-9 thousandths of a gram.There are 28grams in a ounce which is about 2-tbsps.Any nausea from ingestion of large amounts could be due to detox of fungi or candida. which is a good thing. Borax factory workers must have strong bones & there are no reports of ill health effects.BTW,fluoride is hugely toxic & both the CDC & FDA state, "not for ingestion,only topical use",but it is dumped into the drinking water supplies as a medication without prescription or physician oversight.It is agricultural grade with toxic metal contaminants,not pharmaceutical grade as legally required for drugs. So where's the real outrage? Do your own research please.Important to note if many folks chat about ingesting borax,the Fed controllers will intervene & remove the product or add a poison to it to prevent ingestion.That's what happened in the EU.

Mon, October 20, 2014 | Unregistered Commentergbear

I was just reading a study in china to use it to true skeltal fluorosis. They built up to 1.1 grams per day over a few months. It greatly increases fluoride excretion and greatly improved joint pain. No negative side effects were observed.

Wed, January 7, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterbo jangles

my aorta was clogged up with calcium ,in fact i had a heart attack , so i turned to borax ,,i put a small amount in my water. The good news is that i feel slowly my blood flow is improved , no heart pain now an infection in my mouth has disappeared and slowly blood flow is returning to my legs ..the down side is i got a rash and my two small finger are red and inflamed ,i take it borax is the cause but thats not confirmed , i have ceased use temporarily ,,i have also put on weight in a few months ,i feel possibly it has destroyed good gut bacteria ,,if this is the case a coarse of pro-biotics should fix that problem ,,,my options were death or borax ,,lets face it the medical services dont address calcium build up and it builds up in our arteries and every organ and into the bargain they dont run calcium count scans or diagnose parathyroid issues ,,,,it looks like Genocide genocide to me so lets hope borax can fix the calcium problem .

Sun, April 23, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterbrian allen

I use boric acid for flea treatment for years without issue. Borax Kills roaches because it’s deadly. You all gave this women crap for WARNING YOU.

Tue, November 13, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJelly

Good day, there's been concerns that the chemicals present in toothpaste and our general tap drinking water contains chemicals that calcify the brain, specifically the pituitary and pineal gland.
Other people believe adding borax to water we drink aifs in detoxifying these organs and that it channels calcium to bones and teeth enhancing their health.
Can you please prove the legitimacy or illegitimacy of these assertions.

Thanks for reading, comprehending and responding.

Kind regards

Thu, November 22, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterKlaas

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