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A white or colorless crystalline compound, H3BO3, either naturally
occurring or made from borax. It is used as anantiseptic and preservative,
and in cements, enamels, and cosmetics.
Boric acid, also called hydrogen borate, boracic acid, orthoboric acid and
acidum boricum, is a weak, monobasic Lewis acid of boron, which is often
used as an antiseptic, insecticide, flame retardant, neutron absorber, or
precursor to other chemical compounds. It has the chemical formula H3BO3
(sometimes written B(OH)3), and exists in the form of colorless crystals or a
white powder that dissolves in water. When occurring as a mineral, it is called
|Properties||Colorless crystal or white powder|
Boric Acid has been used since the ancient Greeks as a method to fireproof cloth.
It is a mild astringent that kills bacteria and is used in eyewash to this day. It is also
used as a Roach Killer. In the late 1800’s and early 1900’s it was still used as a
food preservative until we found it was killing people and was banned from this use.
In the past Boric Acid was used as 3% in ointment for babies diaper rash. Then we
found this Boric Acid diaper rash cream made sick, caused permanent damage,
and killed human infants when applied to babies diaper rash.
In 1964 a researcher named Wong published some studies that Boric Acid was
much more toxic than once thought, but his work was largely ignored.
There are no studies that show Boric Acid is safe in mattresses. The industry
claims it’s safe because we have always done it that way, and don’t know of killing
The industry claims Boric Acid has been ‘widely’ used in mattresses for over thirty
years. However, a cotton-batting manufacturer told us that none of his innerspring
mattress manufacturer customers use boric acid treated cotton. Since 1973 Boric
Acid treated cotton has been used in some mattresses to pass the cigarette ignition
law. However, simply putting a layer of polyester or foam under the ticking passes
the test without any added chemicals. Most manufacturers simply stopped putting
cotton in mattresses. Those who continued usually put a thin layer polyester or
foam quilted in the ticking and over the cotton batting rather than pay the 7% extra
cost of treated cotton. A very small number of the very cheapest mattresses may
have still used unquilted ticking with Boric Acid treated cotton directly under the
The three oxygen atoms form a trigonal planar geometry around the boron. The B-
O bond length is 136 pm and the O-H is 97 pm. The molecular point group is C3h.
Crystalline boric acid consists of layers of B(OH)3 molecules held together by
hydrogen bonds of length 272 pm. The distance between two adjacent layers is
Based on mammalian median lethal dose (LD50) rating of 2,660 mg/kg body
mass, boric acid is only poisonous if taken internally or inhaled in large quantities.
The Fourteenth Edition of the Merck Index indicates that the LD50 of boric acid is
5.14 g/kg for oral dosages given to rats, and that 5 to 20 g/kg has produced death
in adult humans. For comparison's sake, the LD50 of salt is reported to be 3.75
g/kg in rats according to the Merck Index. According to the Agency for Toxic
Substances and Disease Registry, "The minimal lethal dose of ingested boron (as
boric acid) was reported to be 2–3 g in infants, 5–6 g in children, and 15–20 g in
adults. However, a review of 784 human poisonings with boric acid (10–88 g)
reported no fatalities, with 88% of cases being asymptomatic."Toxicology
Long-term exposure to boric acid may be of more concern, causing kidney damage
and eventually kidney failure (see links below). Although it does not appear to be
carcinogenic, studies in dogs have reported testicular atrophy after exposure to 32
mg/kg bw/day for 90 days. This level is far lower than the LD50.
According to the boric acid IUCLID Dataset published by the European
Commission, boric acid in high doses shows significant developmental toxicity and
teratogenicity in rabbit, rat, and mouse fetuses as well as cardiovascular defects,
skeletal variations, and mild kidney lesions. As a consequence in the 30th ATP to
EU directive 67/548/EEC of August 2008, the European Commission decided to
amend its classification as reprotoxic category 2, and to apply the risk phrases R60
(may impair fertility) and R61 (may cause harm to the unborn child).
At a 2010 European Diagnostics Manufacturing Association (EDMA) Meeting,
several new additions to the Substance of Very High Concern (SVHC) candidate
Chemicals Regulations 2007 (REACH) were discussed. Following the registration
and review completed as part of REACH, the classification of Boric Acid CAS
10043-35-3 / 11113-50-1 is listed from 1 December 2010 is H360FD (May damage
fertility. May damage the unborn child.)
Boron is used in pyrotechnics to prevent the amide-forming reaction between
aluminum and nitrates. A small amount of boric acid is added to the composition to
neutralize alkaline amides that can react with the aluminum.Boric acid can be used
as a colorant to make fire green. For example, when dissolved in methanol it is
popularly used by fire jugglers and fire spinners to create a deep green flame.
Boric acid is used to treat or prevent boron deficiencies in plants. It is also used in
preservation of grains such as rice and wheat.
For the game of carrom, boric acid is sprinkled onto the board of play to act as a
dry lubricant to increase the speed of the pieces when struck.
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