Homestead Health: Borax for Health? Part 3 of 3

Homestead Health: Borax for Health? Part 3 of 3

Here’s the last bit of this monster article that I dug up for you guys. I hope you find it as thought provoking as I have.  This section has all of the references sited throughout the entire article.

Part 1   Blog-Borax

Part 2

Enjoy….

Toxicity Issues

Government health agencies are concerned about boron toxicity. You might be concerned as well if you read the following, pertaining to sodium chloride or table salt (17): ‘Acute oral toxicity (LD50 – the dose at which half of the tested animals die): 3,000 mg/kg [Rat]. Chronic Effects on Humans: Mutagenic for mammalian somatic cells. Slightly hazardous in case of skin contact, ingestion or inhalation. Lowest Published Lethal Oral Dose in Man: 1000 mg/kg. Causes adverse reproductive effects in humans (fetotoxicity, abortion) by intraplacental route, may increase risk ofToxemia of Pregnancy in susceptible women. May cause adverse reproductive effects and birth defects in animals, particularly rats and mice – fetotoxicity, abortion, musculoskeletal abnormalities, and maternal effects (on ovaries, fallopian tubes). May affect genetic material (mutagenic). Ingestion of large quantities can irritate the stomach with nausea and vomiting. May affect behavior (muscle spasicity/contraction, somnolence), sense organs, metabolism, and cardiovascular system. Continued exposure may produce dehydration, internal organ congestion, and coma.’

Now compare the sodium chloride toxicity with the Material Safety Data Sheet or MSDS for borax (18): ‘Low acute oral toxicity; LD50 in rats 4,500 to 6,000 mg/kg of body weight. Reproductive/developmental toxicity: Animal feeding studies in rat, mouse and dog, at high doses, have demonstrated effects on fertility and testes. Studies with boric acid in the rat, mouse and rabbit, at high doses, demonstrate developmental effects on the fetus, including fetal weight loss and minor skeletal variations. The doses administered were many times in excess of those to which humans would normally be exposed. No evidence of carcinogenicity in mice. No mutagenic activity was observed in a battery of short-term mutagenicity assays. Human epidemiological studies show no increase in pulmonary disease in occupational populations with chronic exposures to borate dust and no effect on fertility.’

Here you see that table salt is 50 to 100% more toxic than borax, it changes the genetic material and is mutagenic, while borax is harmless in this regard. Infants are most at risk from high borax ingestion. It has been estimated that 5 to 10 grams can cause severe vomiting, diarrhoea, shock and even death, but it also says that lethal doses are not well documented in the literature.

The following toxicity data are from documents of the US Environmental Protection Agency and the Centers for Disease Control(19, 20).

A review of 784 accidental human poisonings from 10 – 88 grams of boric acid reported no fatalities, with 88% of cases being asymptomatic, meaning they did not notice anything. However, gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, hepatic, renal, and central nervous system effects, dermatitis, erythema, and death have been observed in some children and adults exposed to more than 84 mg boron/kg, corresponding to more than 40 grams of borax for 60 kg of body weight.

Animal studies have identified reproductive toxicity as the most sensitive effects of boron ingestion. Exposure of rats, mice, and dogs for several weeks showed some damage to the testes and sperm at doses of more than 26 mg boron/kg which corresponds to 15 grams of borax/day for 60 kg body weight.

Most at risk is the developing foetus, and in the studied animals rats were most affected. In one study slight reductions in the foetal body weight were already found at 13.7 mg boron/kg/day used during pregnancy. The no effect dose was set at less than 13.7 mg/kg/day corresponding to about 7 grams of borax per day for 60 kg body weight. With an added safety factor a no effect value of 9.6 mg boron/kg/day was calculated corresponding to 5 grams of borax for 60 kg.

However, a rat study lasting for 3 generations found no reproductive toxicity or effect on the parents or offspring at 30 mg boron/kg/day. This dose corresponds to 17 grams of borax for 60 kg ingested for 3 generations! In another 3-generation study no problem was found at 17.5 mg boron/kg/day, corresponding to 9 grams of borax/60 kg, while the next higher tested dose of 58.5 mg/kg/day, corresponding to 30 grams of borax/60 kg, resulted in infertility. Therefore we can assume that the safe reproductive dose is up to about 20 grams/60 kg/day.

Human studies of the possible association between impaired fertility and high boron levels in water, soil and dust in a Turkish populations, and boron mining and processing workers, found no effect. One study even reported elevated fertility rates in borax production workers as compared to the U.S. national average.

All this is important because possible reproductive toxicity is the official reason for the present assault on borax. The sodium chloride MSDS mentioned above also states: “While sodium chloride has been used as a negative control in some reproductive studies, it has also been used as an example that almost any chemical can cause birth defects in experimental animals if studied under the right conditions.” Keep this in mind when you read the following.

The Assault on Borax

Arthritis in its various forms and its close relative osteoporosis affect about 30% of the population in developed countries. Osteoporosis is responsible for more long term hospital care than any other individual disease. This is due to the very high incidence of fractures, and especially the protracted nature of hip fractures. This is a main source of income for the medical-pharmaceutical system. If the boron-magnesium cure for these diseases should become widely known, this vital income stream would dry up and the system collapse. As this is the biggest and most profitable industry in the world, this  cannot be allowed to happen.

When Dr Newnham discovered the boron-arthritis cure it was not a big problem for the pharmaceuticals because news travelled slowly and was easily suppressed. This is very different now with Internet communication. Most research funding comes from the pharmaceutical industry, and nothing has come forward to duplicate Dr Newnham’s findings and other positive osteoporosis studies. Instead, funding goes into the development of patentable boron drugs for limited application as in chemotherapy, or even to discredit boron. A test-tube experiment found that a relatively low dose of about 4 grams of borax can damage lymphocytes, just like an earlier test-tube study showed that vitamin C supplements are toxic. Most positive borax studies now come from China, Japan and Turkey.

Furthermore, PubMed is a publicly funded search facility for bio-medical research publications. While other articles for Newnham R.E. and Zhou L.Y. are still listed, the two important borax publications mentioned earlier – about the arthritis trial at the Royal Melbourne Hospital and the treatment of skeletal fluorosis in China – are no longer listed, but they belong there and obviously had been there originally. I suspect that they have been deliberately removed to prevent them from being quoted in other research.

In addition, increasing effort goes into publicly demonizing borax for its alleged reproductive and infant toxicity. As an example I recently read an article by a ‘senior scientist’ of the supposedly ‘green’ Environmental Working Group. In it the perceived dangers of borax were so exaggerated that most comments in effect said: “Thank you for opening my eyes. I did not know how poisonous and dangerous borax is, I certainly will not use it anymore in my laundry, or for cleaning my toilet and kitchen” .

This is obviously a deliberate campaign to make people grateful for banning borax from public sale. For laundry and cleaning purposes Borax Substitute now replaces the product previously sold as Borax. The EU has spearheaded this campaign. In June 2010 borax and boric acid were reclassified as “Reprotoxic Category 2“, suggesting that they may be harmful to the reproductive functions of humans in high doses, and the product package must display the skull and crossbones symbol. From December 2010 these products were no longer available for public sale within the EU. While this classification now applies for all of Europe, non-EU countries still have some leeway in regard to public sales. This initiative is part of a Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) which is to be implemented as soon as possible. Australia is well-advanced on preparing regulations to implement the GHS for industrial chemicals, with new regulations expected in 2012 (21).

The European Chemicals Agency gave as reason for their reclassification of boron products (paraphrased):

‘The available data do not indicate major differences between laboratory animals and humans, therefore it must be assumed that the effects seen in animals could occur in humans as epidemiological studies in humans are insufficient to demonstrate the absence of an adverse effect of inorganic borates on fertility. 17.5 mg boron/kg/day was derived as a NOAEL (no event level) for male and female fertility. For the rat decreased foetal weight occurred at 13.7 mg boron/kg/day, and a safe limit of 9.6 mg/kg/day has been derived.’ (22)

What they are really saying is this: ‘While we have no human data, animal studies suggest that for adult reproductive functions a daily ingestion of about 2 teaspoons of borax is safe. But to be absolutely sure that no-one is harmed, we will ban it totally.’ Importantly, this ruling is not related to borax in foods or supplements where it is already banned, but only for general use as in laundry or cleaning products or as insecticides. Because borax is not readily inhaled or absorbed through intact skin, it is difficult to see how even a few milligrams daily could get into the body with the conventional use. If the same standard would apply to other chemicals there would be none left.

The key study in this assessment was published in 1972. Why is this being dug up now to justify banning borax when it was of no concern for the past 40 years? It does not make any scientific sense, especially if you consider that the main chemical in the new borax substitute, sodium percarbonate, is about three times more toxic than borax. Acute oral LD50 values for animals are from 1034 to 2200 mg/kg/day (23). Even the commonly used sodium bicarbonate, with an animal LD50 of 3360 mg/kg, is nearly twice as toxic as borax (24). Both of these chemicals have not been tested for long-term reproductive toxicity at the high doses that caused fertility problems in rats and mice.

The same applies to washing powders, it has been stated that no toxicity is expected if used in the approved way, or that reproductive tests have not been done. Ingredients in these products are more toxic than borax, why can they be used in the approved way but not borax? And how about really toxic items such as caustic soda and hydrochloric acid? Why do they remain available to the public when one of the safest household chemicals is banned despite the fact that it is absolutely impossible to cause any reproductive harm with the approved use?

Regardless of the lack of any scientific credibility, the stage has been set for borax and boric acid to be globally removed from public sale at short or no notice. Even low-level and less effective boron tablets are now tightly controlled by the pharmaceutical industry, and may be restricted at any time through Codex Alimentarius regulations. With this the medical-pharmaceutical system has safely defused any potential danger that borax may have posed to its profitability and survival.

REFERENCES

(1) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9638606

(2) http://www.whale.to/w/boron.html

(3) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1566627/pdf/envhper00403-0084.pdf
(4) http://nah.sagepub.com/content/7/2/89.full.pdf

(5) http://www.arthritistrust.org/Articles/Boron and Arthritis.pdf

(6) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/172591209

(7) http://www.ithyroid.com/boron.htm

(8) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21129941

(9) http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag2006/aug2006_aas_01.htm

(10) http://www.earthclinic.com/Remedies/borax.html

(11) http://jac.oxfordjournals.org/content/63/2/325.long

(12) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21774671

(13) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2873987/

(14) http://www.earthclinic.com/CURES/fluoride.html

(15) http://www.supergenial.ch/pi1/pd2.html

(16) http://www.health-science-spirit.com/ultimatecleanse.html

(17) http:/www.sciencelab.com/msds.php?msdsId=9927593

(18) http://www.hillbrothers.com/msds/pdf/n/borax-decahydrate.pdf

(19) http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxprofiles/tp26-c2.pdf

(20) http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=EPA-HQ-OPP-2005-0062-0004

(21) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Globally_Harmonized_System_of_Classification_and_Labelling_of_Chemicals

(22) http://echa.europa.eu/documents/10162/17230/supdoc_boric_acid_20100609_en.pdf

(23) http://www.inchem.org/documents/sids/sids/15630894.pdf

(24) http://www.sciencelab.com/msds.php?msdsId=9927258 ”

 

Well that’s the last of it!  Not very flashy, but I found it super informative, and I hope you did to!

 

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