In the search for quick and attractive solutions to health problems, TikTok has been the scene of a dangerous trend that has medical experts worried: the consumption of borax.
This water-soluble chemical compound, widely used in cleaning products, is being promoted on the platform as a supposed solution to relieve inflammation, joint pain and disinfect the body.
However, doctors and toxicologists warn that these recommendations are misleading and can have serious health consequences.
Borax: Beyond Detergents
Borax, commonly used in detergents, insecticides and fertilizers, has found a new space on TikTok, where its consumption has been popularized as a magical solution to health problems.
However, toxicologist Kelly Johnson-Arbor, co-medical director of the National Poison Center in Washington DC, warns of the dangers associated with this practice. Consuming borax can cause extreme stomach irritation, resulting in vomiting or blue-green diarrhea, she warns.
Prolonged use of borax can generate serious health complications. In addition to stomach irritation, its consumption can cause anemia, convulsions and skin eruptions, which result in a striking pink color in the skin and its subsequent detachment.
While the trend is not new to TikTok, Johnson-Arbor has previously warned about other risky health recommendations on social networks, such as ingesting berberine or apetamine, both of which have the potential to cause health complications.
The Health Impact of TikTok
TikTok's platform has proven to be a breeding ground for the spread of viral trends, some of which can have devastating effects on users' health. Its global reach and captivating presentation of trends lures people into misleading and dangerous practices.
Wendy Stephan, an epidemiologist at the Florida Poison Information Center, points out that the appeal of these trends lies in the search for quick and inexpensive solutions to health problems, which can often be costly and difficult to address through conventional means.
Influencers and their Responsibility
Content creators on TikTok play a crucial role in promoting viral trends. Unfortunately, some influencers are unaware or ignore the dangers associated with certain practices, which can lead to serious consequences for their followers.
Captivating images and compelling narratives used by influencers can make dangerous trends appear credible and appealing, which amplifies their negative impact.
Misinformation and Warnings on TikTok
Misinformation is often the driver behind dangerous trends on social networks, and TikTok is no exception. Some creators misinterpret scientific research to support their claims, turning unsafe practices into popular trends.
Faced with this situation, health professionals have turned to social media to counteract the spread of these risky practices by providing clear and accurate information about the dangers of borax consumption and other risky trends.
With great power comes great responsibility
TikTok, as a fast-growing social networking platform, must face up to the responsibility of protecting the health of its users. Dangerous trends, such as borax consumption, must be addressed quickly and efficiently through a combination of technology and moderation.
Education and truthful information are essential to prevent the spread of misleading and potentially harmful practices.
Likewise, content creators have a responsibility to research and fully understand the implications of their recommendations before sharing them with their audience.
Only with joint efforts and increased awareness can we protect TikTok users and ensure that the platform is a safe and healthy space for all.