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Thread: Is boric acid/borax a health concern??

  1. #1
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    Exclamation Is boric acid/borax a health concern??

    It appears there is a concern with the Canadian Government with "over" exposure to boric acid. There are no level indicated???
    http://healthycanadians.gc.ca/recall...59514a-eng.php

    They list it for pest control but then list it again for pool chemicals/craft etc here...

    http://www.healthycanadians.gc.ca/pr...orique-eng.php

    My wife is an ECE teacher and they are looking at what products contain borates and are eliminating them for crafts

    Would this be an issue?

    The big question is what is the concern for children and pregnant women?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Is boric acid/borax a health concern??

    This is an old question, but one that gets asked again and again in many forms.

    The specific answer, to the OP, is that the Canadian position was exaggerated and has since been partially retracted (I think; like most bureaucracies, the Canadian ministries don't know how to admit they were wrong. It could be worse: the US EPA is worse!)

    Regarding borax:
    • Don't eat it.
    • Don't drink it, in water.
    • And don't EVER put it in your eyes,
    • BUT, don't worry about it!
    Boric acid is -- functionally -- a more concentrated form of borax, but is rarely used in pools.

    In more detail -- much, much more detail -- here's a document I'm working on, entitled "Relative Toxicity of Household Chemicals":
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1...CeQl1Ce0/edit#

    Eventually, the data there will allow some nice graphs showing how irrational some of the sensationalized 'chlorine-phobia' really is. For example, the MOST toxic household chemical in most people's homes appears to be either aspirin or caffeine! But in its current state, the document is useful only to those wanting to know a lot more detail . . . and not to anyone who wants a quick answer.

    Bit if you wish, you can comment here, or in the document itself.
    Last edited by PoolDoc; 04-16-2018 at 11:03 AM. Reason: change direct boric acid use from "never" to "rare"

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Is boric acid/borax a health concern??

    Hi Ben.

    Perhaps I’m misunderstanding what you mean by this:

    “...Boric acid is -- functionally -- a more concentrated form of borax, but is never (to the best of my knowledge) used in pools....”

    but I thought using boric acid was an easier way to add borates to a pool since it doesn’t require the addition of acid (MA) like borax?

    I’ve been using boric acid for years in my pool (30-50ppm). I could have sworn I learned about it here.
    22'x40' Grecian Lazy L 20K gal IG vinyl pool; Aqua Rite SWCG T15 cell; Hayward Pro Grid 6020 DE filter; Hayward Superpump 1hp pump; 12 hrs; Taylor K-2006; city; PF:6

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    Default Re: Is boric acid/borax a health concern??

    Guess I should edit that to "is rarely directly used in pools. . . "

    My understanding is that if you add equivalent -- with respect to boron content --amounts of borax and boric acid to your pool, and then adjust to the same pH, you will end up with virtually identical borate ions in the water.

    And, I probably have mentioned the possibility of using boric acid. ChemGeek might well have done so, too.

    I just didn't recall anyone reporting having done so. But then, I haven't read every thread here, and I don't even remember all of those I have read.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Is boric acid/borax a health concern??

    Thanks for the clarification.

    Good to see you back.
    22'x40' Grecian Lazy L 20K gal IG vinyl pool; Aqua Rite SWCG T15 cell; Hayward Pro Grid 6020 DE filter; Hayward Superpump 1hp pump; 12 hrs; Taylor K-2006; city; PF:6

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