Posted by Boz (Sydney, Australia) on 09/10/2008
I notice that many people on this site are advocating internally ingesting borax as a cure for various problems. This is not a good thing to promote, as borax is harmful when ingested. I use borax mixed with sugar as a natural ant killer - it kills off an ant problem in 2-3 days. This indicates a level of toxicity that shouldn't be treated lightly. When I cook up the mixture, I wear gloves and a facemask to prevent breathing in the fumes. The following excerpt about borax toxicity is from Wikipedia:
Start of excerpt:
"Borax, sodium tetraborate decahydrate, is not acutely toxic. Its LD50 (median lethal dose) score is tested at 2.66 g/kg in rats. This does not mean that it is safe, merely that a significant dose of the chemical is needed to cause severe symptoms or death. Simple exposure can cause respiratory and skin irritation. Ingestion may cause gastrointestinal distress including nausea, persistent vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. Effects on the vascular system and brain include headaches and lethargy, but are less frequent. "In severe poisonings, a beefy red skin rash affecting palms, soles, buttocks and scrotum has been described. With severe poisoning, erythematous and exfoliative rash, unconsciousness, respiratory depression, and renal failure."
...Boric acid solutions used as an eye wash or on abraded skin are known to be especially toxic to infants, especially after repeated use because of its slow elimination rate."
End of excerpt.
Note the use of the words "acutely toxic". Just because Borax isn't acutely toxic does not mean that it isn't toxic, just that it doesn't kill immediately. Please don't fool around with internally ingesting this stuff - it may seem like a harmless white powder that seems to do some good, but there are good reasons why it's banned as an additive to foodstuffs in many countries.