Boric acid or H3BO3 is a water-soluble acidic compound that consists of Hydrogen, Boron, and Oxygen. It is a Lewis acid of Boron that is weak and monobasic in nature. Other names for Boric acid include Hydrogen Borate or Orthoboric acid. Its molar mass is 61.83 g/mol. According to the pH scale, Boric acid consists of a pH of 5.1, thus indicating that it is a weak monobasic acid.
There are various uses of Boric acid. It is helpful as an antiseptic for minor cuts and/or burns. It is used as an anti-fungal ointment or powder and removes any foul odor of the feet by applying it inside stockings. It is also used for treating vaginal infections. Boric acid plays an effective role in pesticides and is effective against pests like rats, houseflies, cockroaches, etc. It can also be used to remove odors and dirt from kitchens and bathrooms.
Boric acid isn’t harmful or lethal, or poisonous in small doses, naturally available in products. However, if the intake quantity of Boric acid exceeds the threshold through swallowing or inhalation, it can prove fatal for health. It can cause rashes, diarrhea, and vomiting. Furthermore, it causes allergic reactions, kidney damage (if it remains untreated, it will proceed to kidney failure), pain in the abdomen, burning and irritating sensations.
1. Is Boric Acid Safe For Humans?
As long as the dosage of Boric acid remains within the prescribed limits, it is safe for consumption by human beings. However, intake of high concentrations of Boric acid can prove lethal to the human body, causing diarrhea, vomiting, allergic reactions such as skin rashes, kidney failure, and abdominal pain.
2. What Happens When Boric Acid Is Heated?
When Boric acid is heated at 373K, it breaks down to Metaboric acid (HBO2) and water. On further heating, Metaboric oxide breaks down to Boric Oxide, otherwise called Boron Trioxide (B2O3) and water. Boron Trioxide is a glassy, granular textured material that turns into Boric acid if exposed to moisture.
3. What Happens When Boric Acid Is Added To Water?
When Boric acid is added to water, it accepts electrons from OH- ions of the water molecules, thus dissolving in water. This is because Boric acid is soluble in water. The solution formed can be used as Boric acid spray to remove mold or musty odor present in one's home.
4. Why Is Boric Acid Considered As A Weak Acid?
Boric acid is considered a weak acid because its pH value is 5.1. This is because the Boron atom in H3BO3 is electron-deficient and cannot release H ion on its own, so it accepts OH- ions when it reacts with water, thus releasing H ions.
5. How To Use Boric Acid For Cockroaches?
Boric acid is applied around the bathroom, kitchen, cabinets, shelves, and at the corners of the house floor and near doorways. This is to ensure the extermination of cockroaches inside the house. It's advised to wear a mask before applying Boric acid around the house to prevent its inhalation.
6. Is Boric Acid Harmful?
Boric acid is harmful when swallowed or inhaled in excess amounts. It causes poisoning, which can either be acute or chronic. There are warning signs and caution notices present on Boric acid items such as cockroach killing products. Such products must be handled with utmost care and precaution.
7. Is Boric Acid Banned?
Boric acid is banned in China, Thailand, and the United States of America. Borax (or Sodium Tetraborate) is prohibited in U.S. food products since it causes poisoning, nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting if ingested in large amounts, in turn causing kidney damage, further leading to kidney failure.
8. Is Borax The Same As Boric Acid?
Borax, otherwise known as Sodium Tetraborate, isn't the same as Boric acid. Borax is used in cleaning and cosmetics such as sunscreens, moisturizers, skin care products, mouthwashes, and toothpaste. Boric acid is a refined form of Borax found in various chemical products such as anti-fungal creams, cockroach killing products, etc.
9. Is Boric Acid Good For Skin?
Only prescribed amounts of Boric acid in skin care products and moisturizers are considered suitable for the skin. It is used in the form of Borax, which is also available in sunscreens. Excessive use of such products can lead to the formation of skin rashes and cause irritation to the applied areas.
10. How To Use Boric Acid For Toenail Fungus?
Boric acid is available in anti-fungal powders, which is helpful in the prevention of athlete's foot. It prevents itching, irritation, and fungal formation in the foot and the toenail areas. The powder form can be applied in foot stockings such as shoes and socks before wearing them.