I've been thinking of a different tack here. This is about Borax and developers but lets define Borax for all photographic uses.
It is used as a buffer in fixes as well as in developers. Now, we know that Potassium ion will 'poison' a fix. This is stated unequivocally in Mees, Mees and James and Haist. Therefore, for photographic use, a Borax buffer would have to include Potassium level as part of its specification.
Do you see my logic about looses specification and specifications intended for photo chemical use?