Borax (also known as sodium borate decahydrate; sodium pyroborate; birax; sodium tetraborate decahydrate; sodium biborate) is a natural mineral compound (Na2B4O7 â€¢ 10H2O). It was discovered over 4000 years ago. Borax is usually found deep within the ground, although it has been mined near the surface in Death Valley, California since the 1800s. Although it has numerous industrial uses, in the home borax is used as a natural laundry booster, multipurpose cleaner, fungicide, preservative, insecticide, herbicide, disinfectant, dessicant, and ingredient in making 'slime'. Borax crystals are odorless, whitish (can have various color impurities), and alkaline. Borax is not flammable and is not reactive. It can be mixed with most other cleaning agents, including chlorine bleach Potential Health Effects Inhalation: Causes irritation to the respiratory tract. Symptoms may include coughing, shortness of breath. Ingestion: May cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, muscular spasms, dullness, lethargy, circulatory depression, central nervous system depression, shock, kidney damage, coma, and death. Estimated lethal dose 15 to 20 grams. Skin Contact: Causes irritation to skin. Symptoms include redness, itching, and pain. May be absorbed through the skin with possible systemic effects. Eye Contact: Causes irritation, redness, and pain. Chronic Exposure: Prolonged or repeated ingestion or skin absorption may cause anorexia, weight loss, vomiting, mild diarrhea, skin rash, convulsions, and anemia. Aggravation of Pre-existing Conditions: No information found.