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Borax is a naturally occurring mineral found in concentration in dried salt lake beds, and consists of water, sodium, boron and oxygen. The main areas where borax is mined today are in Turkey and California. Borax is used in laundry detergents, hair and skin products. Similar to diatomaceous earth, it also can help kill fleas and dust mites in your carpet by dehydrating them. It is also used as a safer ant and cockroach killer.
Borax is also naturally anti-fungal and anti-viral but not anti-bacterial. Through a chemical reaction with water, borax produces hydrogen peroxide (the main ingredient in OxyClean) to brighten and sanitize your clothes.
Borax (sodium tetraborate) is used in the process of making boric acid, but there is a tremendous chemical difference between the two. Many of the studies used to demonstrate the alleged danger of borax often used boric acid instead, or were ambiguous about which was used.
Boric acid is toxic at far lower doses than borax, so any study that isn’t clear about which of the two is used for the data should not be considered credible. (This includes the EWG data.)
Borax can be toxic at high doses such as those used in animal studies. It has this effect at high doses because it is essentially an overdose of the element boron. Keep small children and pets out of the borax, just as you would keep them away from the chewable vitamins etc. An overdose of boron can be as dangerous as an overdose of zinc or iron, especially for small bodies.