Table Of Contents

► Back to Top

► About

E285; Sodium Borate Decahydrate (Borax)
(in 346 products)
Banned by Gov or classified as a carcinogen by IARC

Potential Risk Index®:

ISCE InhaleISCE SwallowISCE ContactISCE Environment
PRI Legend


1. Preservative - Prevents and inhibits the growth of unwanted microorganisms which may be harmful
Borax, also known as sodium borate, sodium tetraborate, or disodium tetraborate, is an important boron compound, a mineral, and a salt of boric acid. Powdered borax is white, consisting of soft colorless crystals that dissolve in water. [1]
Borax is a component of many detergents, cosmetics, and enamel glazes. It is used to make buffer solutions in biochemistry, as a fire retardant, as an anti-fungal compound, in the manufacture of fiberglass, as a flux in metallurgy, neutron-capture shields for radioactive sources, a texturing agent in cooking, as a precursor for other boron compounds, and along with its inverse, boric acid, is useful as an insecticide. [1]
Borax is used in various household laundry and cleaning products. Given the E number E285, it is used as a food additive. In Asia, borax was found to have been added to some Chinese foods like hand-pulled noodles lamian and some rice noodles like shahe fen, kway teow, and chee cheong fun recipes. [1]
Recent Findings:
Sodium borate can be converted to boric acid via hydrochloric acid in the stomach. A study conducted on Sprague-Dawley rats, Long-Evans rats and (unspecified breed) dogs showed that borates and boric acid can be "well-tolerated" in concentrations up to 350 ppm with "no adverse health effects on fertility, lactation, litter size, weight and appearance". [2] Only at concentrations of 1170 ppm or above, testicular degenerations were observed in both species. [2] The primary issue stems from the possible bioaccumulation of borates.
Although in humans, boric acid and borate poisoning was shown to not be tied to pancreatic cysts or gastroenteritis. [A]
Scientific References:
1. Toxicologic studies on borax and boric acid. (Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology, 23(3), 351–364. doi:10.1016/0041-008x(72)90037-3)
2. Pancreatic inclusions and its relation to boric acid poisoning: Review of the literature and report of a case. (Forensic Science, 6(3), 165–174. doi:10.1016/0300-9432(75)90007-2) A
3. Hazard Assessment of Boric Acid in Toys. (Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology, 26(3), 271–280. doi:10.1006/rtph.1997.1155) B
Regulatory References:
- Ref: II/1396
2. South Korea - Ministry of Food and Drug Safety - Prohibited/Restricted Chemicals
- Ref: 518, 1244
3. CANADA INGREDIENT HOTLIST, List of Ingredients that are Restricted for Use in Cosmetic Products [2019]
- Boric acid and its salts
4. Argentina Ministerio de Salud - Restricciones
- Acido borico, boratos y tetraboratos
5. US FDA Food Additives Status List [2018]
6. EU Approved Food Additive [2018]
- E285

User Comments:

Subtotal: $0.00 HKD