HEALTH

“Don’t eat Borax”: Doctors bust TikTok myth

Sep 5, 2023, 7:09 AM

borax trends on tiktok are debunked by doctors...

A bottle of borax chemical compound is pictured here. (File photo/Getty Images)

(File photo/Getty Images)

NEW YORK — Doctors are taking to social media to fight back against a growing TikTok trend touting the supposed health benefits of Borax, a common powdered household cleaner.

“Do not ever drink [Borax] in any amount,” said ABC News Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton in a video of her own posted to social media and shared by the network. “It is a toxin, it is a poison.”

Another ABC News medical contributor, Dr. Darien Sutton, elaborated.

“Just to be clear, Borax is a toxin, and at high levels, can cause renal failure, kidney failure, and at higher levels, can cause ineffable death, but can start very much as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea,” he said.

Doctors bust TikTok Borax myths

Sutton said TikTok can provide valuable health information, but as the Borax trend demonstrates, it should never substitute for a conversation with a trusted physician.

“As an avid TikToker myself, I do believe that there is value in social media in providing education. But I’m always the one that cross-checks information, makes sure that my source is valid, and – if you have any suspicion, just try not to do it before you check [with a doctor],” he said.

In the viral trend, users promote false claims of ingesting Borax as a means of cleansing the body or reducing joint pain and inflammation. However, the National Poison Control Center says Borax can “cause toxic effects when swallowed, inhaled, or applied to the skin.”

“I never thought I would have to say it, but don’t eat Borax,” Sutton concluded.

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“Don’t eat Borax”: Doctors bust TikTok myth