Home Cosmetic Science Talk Formulating General Is Borax not allowed at all in natural non-toxic cleaners?

  • Is Borax not allowed at all in natural non-toxic cleaners?

    Posted by pras on February 3, 2020 at 1:17 pm

    I have heard that borax is banned by FDA and also by European association. But isnt it okay to use in everyday cleaners? It’s Sodium Tetroborate and not harsh like Boric acid. Any light on borax in cleaning products?

    pras replied 4 years, 5 months ago 3 Members · 3 Replies
  • 3 Replies
  • Pharma

    February 3, 2020 at 7:42 pm
    Boric acid and borax are probably carcinogenic and quite certainly teratogenic = dangerous for embryos. Nowadays cleaning products contain safer and more environment-friendly antiscalants/water softeners such as polycarboxylates, EDDG, EDDM, EDDS, EDG, GLDA, IDS, MGDA, NTA, or polyaspartic acid. ‘Older’ ones contain phosphates or phosphonates, of which mostly the former are responsible for eutrophication. Newer but ‘environment-ignorant’ products (they are poorly biodegradable) contain EDTA, DTPA, HEEDTA, or EDDHA, though these are fortunately increasingly less often used.
    I know that in many less developed/regulated countries such as Brazil, borax is still a very common additive used for household laundry and what not. The main issue in Europe/USA of borax which lead to its banning aren’t health concerns but it’s the excessive industrial use (which includes laundry detergents).
    Borax and boric acid are equal in everything as soon as you adjust pH. Only concentrated boric acid is, obviously, an acid and hence caustic. They are still allowed in certain products usually at low levels for example as preservative in artificial eye-drops.
    My personal and professional advice: Don’t use it.
  • OldPerry

    February 3, 2020 at 9:52 pm

    Why would you want to use something that is toxic in a non-toxic cleaner?

  • pras

    February 11, 2020 at 11:55 am

    Got it. Thank you so much for your inputs Pharma!

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