WHAT IS BORIC ACID?

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Boric acid, also known as boracic acid or orthoboric acid, is naturally occurring compound containing the elements boron, oxygen, and hydrogen (H3BO3). In nature, the element boron does not exist by itself. Boron is combined with other common elements, such as sodium to make salts like borax and with oxygen to make boric acid.

Boron is considered to be essential micronutrient for plants and perhaps humans. Boron in the diet most commonly comes from the boric acid naturally present in most foods. Fruits, vegetables, grains, and nuts are particularly high in boron. In fact, the average person eats between one to three milligrams of boron each day as part of a normal healthy diet. Boric acid also occurs naturally in water and soil. Boric acid crystals are white, odorless, and nearly tasteless. It looks like fine table salt in the granular form or like baby powder in the powdered form. Borates (the general term associated with boron containing minerals such as borax and boric acid) most commonly originate in dried salt lake beds of desert or arid areas (such as Death Valley, CA, Turkey, and China) or other geographic regions that expose similar deposits (such as the Andes Mountains in South America). What is the History of Boric Acid? Borates have been used for thousands of years in China and middle-eastern countries. In those areas, borates have been (and still are) commonly used as a food preservative, cleaning agent, and as an antiseptic. It is thought that borax was used in China around 900 A.D. to enhance the glazing properties of ceramic containers. Around that time, it was discovered that Arabians used borax to preserve the finish of gold and silver during fabrication. Marco Polo is credited with establishing trade routes that soon brought The Famous Mule Teams Carrying Borax Through the American Desert

It should not be implied that boric acid should be directly ingested as a supplement or for any other reason. Today. came upon a remarkable new material by mixing silicone oil with boric acid. anti-aging preparations and similar external applications. It is thought that boron has a potential therapeutic value in promoting bone and joint health as well as having a limiting effect on arthritis symptoms. efficient plants that produce millions of pounds of highpurity borates. borates are mined and refined in modern. How is Boric Acid Used Today? The more that is learned about the beneficial properties of boric acid. and gypsum board are common consumer items that use boric acid as a flame retardant. which is used in fiberglass insulation as well as in textile fiberglass (a fabric-like material commonly used in skis. Glass and Fiberglass: heat resistant. and other similar applications). known since the 13th century. ovenware. laboratory glassware. Boric acid also aids in the fiberization process of fiberglass. textiles. It is important to note that the health effects of boric acid and boron-based supplements are based on very new studies and/or are based solely on the claims of the manufacturers’ of the supplements. In 1949 the material was given the name Silly Putty® and it sold faster than any other toy at that time. Boric acid also releases chemically bonded water to further reduce combustion. vaginal remedies. Nutritional Supplements: boric acid and other borates are increasingly being used in over-thecounter nutritional supplements as a source of boron. . a General Electric engineer searching for rubber substitutes during WWII. upholstered furniture. wood. James Wright. specialty coatings. Boric acid crystals were first man-made in 1702 by Wilhelm Homberg who mixed borax and mineral acids with water. In the 1870’s borax deposits were discovered in Nevada and Death Valley. microwavable glassware.WHAT IS BORIC ACID? Page 2 borax to Europe. California. The evaporating water left crystals of boric acid and was often called “Homberg’s salt. borosilicate. Futons. circuit boards. and many everyday glass items are enhanced by the addition of boric acid. Turkish boron deposits.” European researchers soon discovered the compound’s properties as a mild antiseptic and eye wash. Halogen light bulbs. began being mined on a large scale in 1861. Soon the famous twenty mule teams hauled borate minerals across the American desert. insulation. eye disinfectants. such as cotton. It is commonly used in contact lens solutions. and paper-based products. Flame Retardants: boric acid inhibits the release of combustible gases from burning cellulosic materials. and other industrial products also contain boric acid to strengthen their ability to withstand exposure to flames. the more it is being used in a wide range of consumer and industrial products. It could be stretched to many times its length without breaking and bounced 25% higher than a normal rubber ball. The new compound had unique properties. It could even pick up the images of most printed material. acting very much like rubber. mattresses. Here are some common examples: Pharmaceuticals and Cosmetics: boric acid is a mild antiseptic as well as a mild acid that inhibits the growth of microorganisms on the external surfaces of the body. Boric acid is one of the most commonly produced borates and is widely used throughout the world. Plastics. and other specialty glasses rely on boric acid and other similar borates to increase the chemical and temperature resistance of the glass. A carbon char is formed that further inhibits combustion. baby powder.

it acts as a desiccant that dehydrates many insects by causing tiny cracks or fissures in their exoskeletons. As energy costs rise and water sources become more important. boric acid is used in swimming pools and spas as a safer and “softer feeling” substitute for chlorine. Boric acid and related compounds are being used as a source of hydrogen in the development of fuel cells and other “clean” fuel technologies. lowering the demand for these resources will provide a valuable benefit for society. boric acid does not kill bugs on contact using highly toxic chemicals. Modern high-tech glass products and coatings (used in computers. Boric acid is a natural and increasingly popular insect control product. thereby conserving valuable resources and lowering the costs of these manufactured items. making these products better able to protect people and property against injury and damage from heat and flames. and usage of boric acid and similar borates. The allowable daily dose of boron was more than doubled. Boron compounds inhibit the growth of fungus and have been demonstrated to be a reliable wood preservative. (all rights reserved) . Manufacturers are researching boric acid’s effect on increasing the efficiency of many industrial manufacturing processes. and other salts are commonly used to soften pool water and prevent contamination. The NCEA is responsible for assessing health risks associated with substances found in the environment and completed a multi-year assessment of more than 200 studies of boron’s health effects in August of 2004. Rather. Unlike hornet or ant sprays. It is used in ceramic and enamel coatings. Fungi are plants that contain no chlorophyll and must have an outside source of food (such as wood cellulose). Boric acid. increasing from 6. copyright © 2008 Rose Mill Co. and specialty borate products. LCDs. and always by knowledgeable professionals. borax. in adhesives.3 milligrams to 14.WHAT IS BORIC ACID? Page 3 Wood Preservatives and Pest Control: boric acid is a common source of boron compounds when used in the formulation of products that control fungus and insects. effectiveness. Contact Rose Mill Company at info@RoseMill. new textiles and plastics are being developed with increased flame retardant properties. Similarly. Recently. plasma screens) use boric acid to further enhance their properties under extreme manufacturing and environmental conditions. recently raised the daily allowable consumption limit for boron. This document is intended to familiarize our customers with the history. What is the Future of Boric Acid? Boric acid usage is on the increase. borax. It is important to note that any product should be used as directed. only for its intended purposes. as a lubricant. leading to lower fuel usage and less oil required over the life of an engine. Other Uses: boric acid is commonly used in metallurgy to harden and treat steel alloys as well as to aid in the application of metal plating materials. This eventually dries them out. Boric acid has been shown to lower energy usage and/or water consumption during the manufacturing of certain products. Similarly.com regarding the availability of boric acid. Borates are a fundamental part of daily living and boric acid is one of the most common and widely used borate compounds. The National Center for Environmental Assessment (NCEA). Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The “saltiness” of boric acid also interferes with their very simple electrolytic metabolism. government scientists have proven that nano-particles of boric acid dramatically increase the performance of motor oil.0 milligrams. S. Many of the uses listed above have been effectively used for centuries and many new uses are being found every day. and in many other consumer and industrial products. a division of the U.

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