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Environmental health perspectives

An introduction to boron: history, sources, uses, and chemistry.


PMID 7889881

Abstract

Following a brief overview of the terrestrial distribution of boron in rocks, soil, and water, the history of the discovery, early utilization, and geologic origin of borate minerals is summarized. Modern uses of borate-mineral concentrates, borax, boric acid, and other refined products include glass, fiberglass, washing products, alloys and metals, fertilizers, wood treatments, insecticides, and microbiocides. The chemistry of boron is reviewed from the point of view of its possible health effects. It is concluded that boron probably is complexed with hydroxylated species in biologic systems, and that inhibition and stimulation of enzyme and coenzymes are pivotal in its mode of action.

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