General Warnings

10 Dangers OF Eating Borax

Borax, also known as sodium borate, is a naturally occurring mineral compound that has found a wide range of uses across various industries and household applications. Composed of boron, sodium, oxygen, and water molecules, borax is recognized for its diverse properties and uses.

In industry, borax is utilized as a key component in the manufacture of various products. Its fire-retardant properties make it valuable in the production of flame-resistant materials for safety gear, insulation, and construction materials. Borax is also employed in the creation of ceramics, glass, and enamels, where its ability to lower melting points and improve hardness contributes to the quality of the end products. Additionally, its use as a flux in metallurgy aids in the purification of metals during soldering and welding processes.

Borax has found its place in numerous household applications as well. One of its most common uses is as a cleaning agent. Its alkaline nature and abrasive texture make it effective in removing stains, dirt, and grime from various surfaces. Borax is also a key ingredient in many laundry detergents, contributing to their stain-removing and whitening capabilities. Furthermore, borax serves as a natural insecticide and pest repellent, making it a preferred choice for controlling household pests like ants, cockroaches, and silverfish.

In recent years, borax has gained popularity in DIY projects and crafts due to its unique properties. It is frequently used in the creation of slime, a popular play material among children, as it helps to form a gel-like consistency when mixed with water and glue. Moreover, borax has been explored for its potential medicinal uses, particularly in wound healing and arthritis treatment, although more research is needed to establish its effectiveness and safety for such purposes.

Despite its versatile applications, it’s important to handle borax with care, as it can be toxic when ingested or when inhaled in large quantities. Boron is not currently classified as an essential nutrient for humans, which means that our bodies do not require it in significant amounts to maintain basic physiological functions. Unlike essential nutrients such as vitamins and minerals, the biological role of boron in human health remains a subject of ongoing research. While some studies have suggested the potential benefits of boron, the evidence is still limited and inconclusive.

The notion that consuming borax as a source of boron can lead to pain relief, inflammation reduction, improved bone health, and relief from osteoarthritis symptoms should be approached with caution. Scientific research on the specific health claims associated with borax consumption is sparse, and the potential risks of ingesting borax should not be ignored.

Ingesting borax can lead to a myriad of health risks and complications that should not be taken lightly. While it’s used in some cultures as a food additive and has been explored for potential medicinal purposes, consuming borax can pose serious dangers to human health. In this article, we’ll explore ten potential hazards associated with eating borax.

10 Dangers OF Eating Borax

TikTok videos have gained attention for showcasing individuals consuming a small amount of borax powder dissolved in water, promoting it as a remedy for pain relief, inflammation reduction, enhanced bone health, and alleviation of osteoarthritis symptoms. This trend revolves around the notion that borax, a compound containing boron, can offer these health benefits. However, it’s important to critically examine these claims as they intersect with scientific understanding.

The viral videos attribute the perceived benefits of borax consumption to the presence of boron, a trace element found in various foods. Boron is naturally occurring and can indeed be found in some dietary sources, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, and legumes. However, it’s essential to distinguish between boron naturally occurring in foods and isolated borax, which is a refined compound with a higher concentration of boron. The dangers of consuming borax are numerous and can include:

1.        Toxicity and Poisoning: Borax contains the element boron, which, when consumed in excessive amounts, can be toxic to the body. Ingesting even a small amount of borax can lead to symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. Severe cases can result in more serious health issues, including kidney failure and damage to the nervous system.

2.        Gastrointestinal Distress: The consumption of borax can irritate the gastrointestinal tract, causing inflammation and discomfort. This can lead to severe stomach pain, cramps, and even bleeding in some cases.

3.        Dehydration: Borax can have a diuretic effect on the body, leading to increased urination. This can potentially result in dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, and complications in individuals with pre-existing kidney issues.

4.        Reproductive and Developmental Effects: Boron, a component of borax, is known to impact reproductive health and development. Ingesting excessive amounts of borax can disrupt hormonal balance and potentially lead to infertility, birth defects, and developmental issues in unborn children.

5.        Neurological Impairment: Boron exposure has been linked to neurological problems, including impaired cognitive function and memory loss. Ingesting borax can potentially affect the nervous system, leading to neurological symptoms and difficulties.

6.        Respiratory Distress: Inhaling borax dust or particles can irritate the respiratory system and lead to respiratory distress, coughing, and even lung damage. While this pertains to inhalation rather than ingestion, it’s an important risk to be aware of, especially during the handling of borax powder.

7.        Skin and Eye Irritation: Direct contact with borax can cause skin and eye irritation, leading to redness, itching, and inflammation. Consuming borax-contaminated food or beverages can also lead to similar skin and eye reactions internally.

8.        Allergic Reactions: Some individuals may be sensitive or allergic to borax. Consuming borax can trigger allergic reactions such as hives, swelling, and difficulty breathing in susceptible individuals.

9.        Metabolic Disruption: Boron plays a role in metabolic processes, and its excessive consumption can disrupt these processes. This disruption can lead to a range of metabolic issues, impacting overall health and well-being.

10.      Long-Term Health Consequences: Chronic ingestion of borax can lead to cumulative health risks. The body’s inability to efficiently eliminate excess boron can result in the gradual accumulation of toxic levels, contributing to long-term health problems.


While borax has a variety of uses and applications, consuming it poses significant risks to human health. The potential dangers of ingesting borax, including toxicity, gastrointestinal distress, reproductive issues, and neurological impairment, are serious concerns that should not be taken lightly. It’s crucial to understand these risks and avoid the consumption of borax, whether in the form of DIY crafts, medicinal experiments, or any other context. If you suspect you’ve ingested borax or experienced adverse effects due to its exposure, seeking medical attention promptly is imperative to ensure your health and safety.


Dr. Oche Otorkpa PG Cert, MPH, PhD

Dr. Oche is a seasoned Public Health specialist who holds a post graduate certificate in Pharmacology and Therapeutics, an MPH, and a PhD both from Texila American University. He is a member of the International Society of Substance Use Professionals and a Fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health in the UK. He authored two books: "The Unseen Terrorist," published by AuthorHouse UK, and "The Night Before I Killed Addiction."
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