Frequently asked questions about boron
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about boron and its health and safety effects and benefits.
Q: What do toxicology studies show?
A: Scientists conduct studies to determine both the level at which boron is harmful and the level at which boron is beneficial to health. Laboratory animals that ingested high doses of borates over long periods have shown adverse developmental and reproductive effects. In studies where boron is completely removed from the diet and environment, similar adverse effects occur. In other words, too little boron is as bad as too much.
Q: What do studies of populations or workers exposed to high levels of borates show?
A: No evidence of adverse reproductive effects attributable to boron have been observed in epidemiological studies of borate workers and populations with high exposures to boron.
Q: What would happen if you accidentally ingested a very high dose of borates?
A: An extremely high intake of borates would make most people vomit. But it is nearly impossible to be exposed to such quantities through eating foods or using products that contain borates. We’ve been mining and refining borates for more than 135 years. Evaluation of our workers—who are exposed to higher levels of borates than most people—have shown no adverse developmental or reproductive effects. In most instances where people have experienced artificially high borate intake, vomiting or excretion in urine has been rapid, and blood and tissue concentrations were quickly back to normal.
Q: What does U.S. Borax do to protect people from possible risk?
A: All our operations comply with all applicable safety regulations and make safety training a priority. We commit to communicating what we know about the health, safety, and environmental impacts of borates as widely as possible. We produce Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) on all our products that clearly outline safe use and handling practices. These SDSs are given to our customers, available to the public, and on file with regulatory agencies around the world. You can download each product’s SDS on the applicable product page.