Boric Acid Safety
As far as insecticides go, boric acid is the safest of them all. However, cautions still apply. Boric acid must be used in a safe way for it to be totally safe. There are different reports about boric acid. The EPA acts as if it is practically good for you classifying it as dangerous as table salt. And, according to others, it is pretty safe, but cautions should be made. Here is the bottom line to the safety of the product.
1- Don't inhale it.
2- Don't eat it.
These are the two important things to remember. If you do eat the product, you should try and make yourself vomit to get it out of your system. As far as inhaling goes, be very careful not to inhale it. If you inhale it, go out and quickly get some fresh air. If you get the product in your eyes, wash them immediately with water for 15 minutes lifting upper and lower eyelids and then go to the doctor immediately. For skin contact, wash the area for 15 minutes and then wash the clothing before you use it again.
According to the chemical company Mallinckrodt Baker, a fatal does is between 5-30 grams. The dosage can be inhaled or eaten. So, how much is a gram? If you are from the US, you may not know this. Five grams is exactly the size of one US nickel. It's not a lot.
Inhalation is more likely to cause problems than ingestion. Some of the powders can be easy to inhale. That is why it is recommended to wear a mask when you are applying it. The powders are pure boric acid.
On the other hand, baits are more safe. Not a lot of people accidentally eat a spoonful of roach or ant bait. However, it could occur from a child or a pet. Still, how many pets like the taste of it. And, most baits have perhaps a 33% boric acid and that means you can eat a bit more than you could inhale.
You can also absorb the chemical through the skin. This is definitely bad for you. However, the skin doesn't actually absorb the chemical very well. In other words, it's going to be pretty difficult to absorb a fatal dose through the skin. Still, be cautious. You should wear gloves, long pants, long shirts, , face shield, goggles, and a mask. Is this how most people apply it? Of course not, but this article is about how to do it the safe and secure way. If you don't do it safely, you are taking a risk.
Boric acid occurs naturally. Acccording to the EPA, it is practically nontoxic to birds, fish, aquatic invertebrates, and relatively nontoxic to beneficial insects. It is naturally occurring in the earth's crust and is found circulating in the human bloodstream and in edible plants. For this reason, trace amounts of it are not of concern.
It has been found to more harmful in marine environments than on land. That is why it is important not to dispose of it in water, lakes, streams, and oceans. In addition, do not wash it down the storm drain.
Boric acid is labeled as a class E carcinogen. That means that there is basically no proof that it will cause cancer. Animal testing has shown that exposure can cause infertility, damage to an unborn child, or cause harm to children. The main result of the animal testing is that it causes infertility. There have been no tests done on humans and so scientists are guessing that it will be similar to the animal testing results.
First and foremost control the dust. You should also wear an appropriate particulate respirator. Baits are safer than dust products because it doesn't go airborn and is more difficult to accidentally ingest. Product should be placed in areas that are not readily accessible to humans like under sinks and under cupboard voids and in walls.
1- If you eat it, vomit it back up.
2- If you get it in your eye, wash for 15 minutes lifting upper and lower eyelid, and immediately go to the doctor.
3- If it touches the skin, wash it for 15 minutes and then wash your clothing before using.
4- If it is inhaled, get some fresh air quickly. Product should be used in well ventilated areas.
(works cited: Mallikrodt Baker, EPA, and Stapletons)