Boric acid or boracic acid is known to be an indispensable industrial chemical because of its numerous applications in different fields. While it remains as a useful chemical, being utilized in various ways, it is considered a hazardous substance. Newborns and pregnant women should not be exposed to this acid as it can impose health issues in them. Although the chemical is known as a weak acid that is mildly toxic, it can still be dangerous under certain circumstances. Hence, in case of exposure, one should do necessary procedures right away. When we say exposure, we mean skin and eye contact, inhalation, and ingestion.
For someone who has the habit of reading labels of products, identifying which ones contain boracic acid isn’t much of a trouble. The danger is when one neglects this responsibility. This chemical is found in a number of household products, particularly in pesticides and insecticides, as it is used to eradicate cockroaches, ants, fleas, and termites. While it is quite effective in eliminating unwanted home insects, misuse can lead to health problems. It can cause skin irritation and can be fatal in big amounts.
Boric acid hazards include fetal weight loss for gestating mothers. The fetus of an exposed mother has more chances of experiencing bone growth abnormalities. Also, it has been found out that men who work in industries manufacturing the acid are likely to develop low sperm counts. Moreover, sperms of exposed men were seen to be less motile. This can lead to greater likelihood of male sterility. It has to be noted that the acidic compound is utilized to disinfect nurseries and it is also used to remedy diaper rash in infants. However, babies exposed to the chemical suffer from health issues like diarrhea, vomiting, and skin irritation.
What makes boracic acid dangerous is its popularity as a household chemical and the little hazard information about it. Most people regard it as a benign chemical and that toxicity and hazard are negligible, but what they don’t know of is its potentiality as an irritant and a toxin most especially with improper use. Everyone should understand that it is a widely occurring acid and it is found in ointments, eyewash, mouthwash, and food products. It is also used as an antiseptic and is a constituent of cosmetic and pharmaceutical products.
Symptoms of poisoning are hypotension (low blood pressure), fever, and rash or blisters. Some people can go into coma when too much has been ingested. Milder poisoning is manifested by weakness, drowsiness, muscle twitching, and reduced urine output. Nevertheless, these adverse reactions happen only during dire circumstances when too much or excessive exposure is sustained, which is rather a result of negligence or carelessness. In homes, this can be prevented by properly labeling chemicals and storing them in designated places. Boric acid safety should be observed at homes and in industrial sites by everyone coming in contact with the chemical.
Jo is a content writer for ‘Boric Acid’ (http://www.boric-acid.co.uk), a web page owned by ReAgent Chemical Services Ltd, a reputable UK stationed chemical producer that creates, stocks and sells a huge variety of premium chemicals. If you are working with or handling Boric Acid then you should be familiar with Boric Acid hazards and the impending dangers and the basic safety precautions that you need to adopt.