Jun 20, 2006

No, anthrax the dessert topping! [LINK]

I recently heard that a good way to kill ants is to spread a mixture of equal parts borax and sugar under sinks and baseboards, places that are inaccessible to children and pets. So I went to buy some boric acid at a hardware store, but the man I spoke with said it's now illegal in Massachusettts, so I got something else instead. Later, I was surprised to find pure boric acid being sold at an Asian food market!

Could it be that it's illegal to sell borax as an insecticide, but legal as a food additive? (I don't even want to know what dish it's used for.) A quick search of the state's EPA site turns up a noncommittal risk assessment probe from the Federal Register. I find it hard to believe the market would be unaware if it were illegal. They're particularly sensitive to import restrictions, as I learned when trying to buy Chinese peppercorns, which were temporarily banned due to the risk of orange rot.

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