What Are the Dangers of Boric Acid?

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There are many dangers associated with the chemical boric acid. Boric acid exposure makes pregnancy difficult. It is very harmful for newborn babies. There are many symptoms that can indicate if you've been poisoned by boric acid. It is necessary to act immediately if you spill a product containing boric acid on yourself or swallow something that contains it.

Identification

  • Boric acid is a common ingredient found in many household products. It is a powerful pesticide that is especially well-known for killing roaches, fleas, ants, silverfish and water bugs. While most of the products that contain boric acid are fine for occasional use, abuse of products containing it can be dangerous. When overused or consumed, boric acid causes serious illnesses, hair loss and skin reactions. The primary danger of boric acid is poisoning, which can be fatal.

Pregnancy Dangers

  • Boric acid exposure during pregnancy causes a fetus to lose weight and experience minor skeletal changes. Men who work in boric acid production for many years have lower sperm counts and less sperm motility (meaning a fewer number of sperm can move towards one of a woman's eggs).

Dangers for Newborns

  • Boric acid is sometimes used to disinfect nurseries or to treat diaper rashes in babies. Babies who are chronically exposed to boric acid experience diarrhea, weight loss, seizures, vomiting, rashes and sometimes death due to poisoning.

Significance

  • The dangers of boric acid are significant because the chemical is used in so many ordinary household products. Some examples include skin ointments, mouthwashes and processed foods. Enamels, skin lotions, paints, medicated powders, photography chemicals, antiseptics and astringents all often contain boric acid.

Symptoms

  • Other than death, signs of boric acid poisoning include blisters, fever and low blood pressure. You might collapse, have convulsions or fall into a coma. Other less severe symptoms include drowsiness, lacking desire to do anything and urinating less (or not at all). Your facial muscles, hands, arms, legs or feet may also twitch if you have boric acid poisoning.

Warning

  • Be careful not to spray too much boric acid on your mattress if you use it to kill bedbugs. If a product containing boric acid gets onto your skin, remove it by washing the affected area thoroughly. Go to a local hospital's emergency room immediately if you have swallowed a product containing boric acid. Take the container with you if possible and remember the time it was swallowed, as well as the amount swallowed.

References

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