DIY Crafts with Boric Acid Put Kids at Risk, Warns Health Canada

homemade slime using boric acid could result in overexposure

Concerned about health risks from overexposure to boric acid, Health Canada is advising Canadian consumers to take precautions. Leading the list of safety measures is a strong warning to avoid DIY arts and crafts recipes that incorporate the common household compound.

Boric acid, aka boron or borax, is often used by caregivers, educators and kids when making homemade slime or modelling clay.

According to this week’s warning, boron is found naturally in the environment and Canadians are exposed to it through drinking water, as well as many foods. They may also be exposed to boric acid through a variety of commonly used products, such as pesticides, cleaning products and even cosmetics.

A recent draft risk assessment, made by Health Canada under its Chemicals Management Plan, discovered that overexposure to boric acid has the potential to cause developmental and reproductive health effects.

Since Canadians are already exposed to boric acid naturally, Health Canada is advising all Canadians, but especially kids and pregnant women, to limit or eliminate their exposure from other man-made sources, including DIY crafts.

Because of these new concerns, HC has announced that registrations for certain pesticides that contain boric acid, which are commonly used in homes, will have their registrations cancelled and be phased out of the marketplace. Further actions to protect Canadians from overexposure are currently being examined with HC promising to pass along results to consumers once a final risk assessment is complete.

For more information, contact Health Canada.

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