Is borax safe to use in Homemade Household Cleaning Products?
Many of the recipes that can be found to make homemade household products list borax as one of their ingredients.
It is after all, a natural substance that has long been used … and it is effective. But, is borax safe?
Over the last few years, borax and its safety have come under careful scrutiny. And although not everyone agrees, many believe it to be unsafe. In fact, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) published an article titled, “Borax: Not the green alternative it’s cracked up to be” where they indicate that borax is not considered to be a green cleaning ingredient. This environmental nonprofit health organization further stated that they cannot recommend its use in the home at all. Not only is borax known to cause temporary skin irritation, but their report also ties borax to sexual health problems such as hormone disruption – affecting both men and women.
In an article by the Mother Nature Network titled, “The spring purge: Roach killer,” they state that borax is used as a poisonous agent that can be used to exterminate cockroaches.
An extensive list of products containing borax was compiled by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The first two commercial products appearing on this list are Prestone’s Stop Leak products and their Super Radiator Sealer.
Studies done by the Environmental Protection Agency have also tied borax to liver and kidney problems, nervous system issues and reproductive problems. Additionally, they have determined it to be a skin and lung irritant. And, it is stored in the body; therefore, the more you use it and are exposed to it, the more harmful it becomes. Frequent and/or prolonged exposure is especially dangerous for children.
It is therefore recommended that as a precautionary measure, borax should not be used to create products that will be used in the home. And, EWG’s Rebecca Sutton takes it even further when she states, “I’d advise disposing of it at a household hazardous waste facility, same as any other home use pesticide.”
I don’t know about you, but after that statement, I would not consider it safe for use in my home … what about you?