Chemical worker inspecting toxic materialsA coalition of several groups in Massachusetts introduced several proposals that aim to provide more details on toxins in basic household items.   The coalition comprises environmental and labour groups, as well as consumer protection organizations which seek to ban the use of certain chemicals in these products. Unlike sodium borate decahydrate or Borax, these chemicals pose different risks to public health and safety.

Proposed Bills

Some of the bills include phasing out ten chemical flame retardants in various items such as children’s products, upholstered furniture and window dressings that are either manufactured or sold in Massachusetts.   Another proposal calls for the creation of a list of different toxic chemicals in different consumer products. It will also oblige manufacturers to report the use of these toxins to the state, in case their products contain any chemical in the proposed list.   You may wonder if Borax, which is a common ingredient in household cleaners, will be part of that list. The Industrial Minerals Association – North America (IMA-NA), however, vouched for the safe use of the mineral for different purposes.

Borate Facts

Borax falls under the larger group of borates, which are natural minerals containing boron, according to the IMA-NA. Borates can be a great flame-retardant when combined with zinc. These chemicals are widely used in different products, including detergents personal care products and ceramics.   In the agriculture industry, borates serve as an important micro-nutrient for crops. The use of boron also makes it possible to fertilize plants. In fact, this mineral is so important that inadequate boron concentrations in the soil cause smaller crop yields and poor food quality.


The proposals in Massachusetts will be beneficial to consumers, amid mounting concerns about dangerous chemicals used in common household items. The proposed disclosure of certain toxins in products would also help consumers to make a wise decision in their purchases.