Boric Acid

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Chemical Name Boric Acid
Synonyms Basilit B; Boracic Acid; Boric Acid; Boric Acid (B(OH)3); Borofax; Boron Trihydroxide; Bushwhacker; CB BORiD; Dia Flea-Mate; Dr.'s 1 Flea Terminator DF; Dr.'s 1 Flea Terminator DFPBO; Dr.'s 1 Flea Terminator DT; Dr.'s 1 Flea Terminator DTPBO; Entimaden; Flea Prufe; NSC 81726; Niban; Niban Granular Bait; Niban-FG; Optibor; Orthoboric Acid; Orthoboric acid (B(OH)3); Orthoboric Acid (H3BO3); Roach Away; Roach Prufe; Super Flea Eliminator; Trihydroxyborane
CAS Number 10043-35-3
Molecular Formula BH₃O₃
Appearance White to Off-White Solid
Melting Point >148ºC (dec.)
Molecular Weight 61.83
Storage 20°C
Solubility DMSO (Slightly), Water (Slightly)
Category Building Blocks; Inorganics;
Applications Boric Acid is a common chemical component in insecticides, specifically for flea erradication. Also has the properties of an effective flame retardant.

Boric Acid: Properties, Uses, and Safety

Boric acid is a chemical compound that occurs naturally in the environment and can also be synthesized in a laboratory. It has a wide range of applications in industry, medicine, and household products. In this article, we will explore the properties, uses, and safety considerations of boric acid.


Boric acid, also known as hydrogen borate or boracic acid, is a weak acid that is often used as an antiseptic, insecticide, and flame retardant. It is a colorless, odorless crystalline powder that dissolves easily in water. Boric acid occurs naturally in some minerals, volcanic waters, and hot springs, but it can also be synthesized from borax.

Boric acid has been used for centuries in various applications, including as a food preservative and medical treatment. Despite its many uses, however, boric acid can be dangerous if not handled properly. In this article, we will examine the properties, uses, and safety considerations of boric acid.

Properties of Boric Acid

Boric acid has a number of interesting properties that make it useful in a variety of applications. Some of its key properties include:

  • Melting point: 170.9 °C
  • Boiling point: 300 °C
  • Density: 1.435 g/cm3
  • Solubility: Boric acid is highly soluble in water and forms a weakly acidic solution with a pH of about 5.1.

Boric acid is a weak acid, which means that it does not completely dissociate in water. Instead, it forms a reversible equilibrium between undissociated boric acid and its conjugate base, borate ion.

Uses of Boric Acid

Boric acid has a wide range of uses in industry, medicine, and household products. Some of its most common applications include:

  • Pest control: Boric acid is a highly effective insecticide that can be used to control a variety of pests, including ants, cockroaches, and termites. It works by disrupting the insect's nervous system, which can lead to paralysis and death.
  • Medical treatment: Boric acid is sometimes used as a mild antiseptic and astringent to treat minor cuts and burns. It can also be used to treat certain eye infections and skin conditions.
  • Flame retardant: Boric acid is sometimes added to textiles and other materials as a flame retardant. It works by releasing water when exposed to heat, which can help extinguish fires.
  • Household products: Boric acid is often used in household products like laundry detergent and toothpaste as a cleaning agent and pH buffer.

Safety Considerations

Although boric acid has many useful applications, it can also be dangerous if not handled properly. Some safety considerations to keep in mind include:

  • Toxicity: Boric acid can be toxic if ingested or inhaled in large quantities. It can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and other symptoms.
  • Reproductive toxicity: Boric acid can also be harmful to reproductive health. Inhaling or ingesting large amounts of boric acid can lead to reduced fertility and birth defects in some animals.
  • Environmental concerns: Boric acid can be harmful to the environment if it is not disposed of properly. It can contaminate soil and water, and it can be toxic to some aquatic organisms.

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