Disodium octaborate tetrahydrate

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Disodium octaborate tetrahydrate
Other names
Aquabor / Boron sodium oxide
Sodium octaborate
Tim-bor insecticide, Polybor
3D model (JSmol)
ECHA InfoCard 100.114.740
Molar mass 412.5270 g/mol
Appearance white powder
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
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Infobox references

Disodium octaborate tetrahydrate, an alkaline salt, is produced in two forms. One is a clear, liquid concentrate or it is packaged as a white, odorless, powdered chemical substance that is not flammable, combustible, or explosive and has low acute oral and dermal toxicity. This salt, which is commonly confused with boric acid, is used as an insecticide[1] and is commonly sold in liquid or powder form. It is also effective against fungi and algae. It has an unlimited shelf life and is not affected by temperature. "Bora-Care" is the liquid form suitable for use in a sprayer. The powdered brands are "Tim-Bor," "Borathor," "Termite Prufe" or "Board Defense" as sold in the United States, and as "Can-Bor" in Canada. This chemical is also a flame-retardant.[2] In the liquid form, it is commonly diluted and sprayed on wood surfaces to kill termites, powder post beetles, carpenter ants, fungi and algae. It is also available as pellets for embedding in structural wood. This alkaline salt is not to be confused with boric acid (an acidic chemical) or the laundry detergent additive used for stains.

In common use as a termite control or for termite prevention, the liquid concentrate is used at a ratio of 1:1 with water. The advantages to this chemical over conventional pest control treatment is that it is non-carcinogenic and has a low toxicity to humans and pets. It is also odorless and proper application lasts for the lifetime of the wood. Repeat treatment is not necessary. It is best used during new construction, however, it is more commonly used after the fact on homes originally treated with chemicals that have become inactive.

It was shown to significantly reduce dust mite populations in the home when combined with regular vacuum cleaner use.[3]


Disodium borate in its anhydrous disodium octaborate and disodium octaborate tetrahydrate forms is classified as "reproductive toxicity category 1B (presumed human reproductive toxicant)" under the EU Classification, Labelling and Packaging Regulation (CLP Regulation). The CLP hazard code and statement are "H360FD: May damage fertility. May damage the unborn child."

On 22 February 2018, the Swedish Chemicals Agency (KEMI) submitted a proposal to the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) to list disodium borate as a Substance of Very High Concern (SVHC) under the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) Regulation.[4]


  1. ^ Nan-Yao Su and Rudolf H. Scheffrahn (1998). "A review of subterranean termite control practices and prospects for integrated pest management programmes". Journal Integrated Pest Management Reviews. 3 (1): 1–13. doi:10.1023/A:1009684821954.
  2. ^ B.J Brotherton Boron: Inorganic Chemistry Encyclopedia of Inorganic Chemistry (1994) Ed. R. Bruce King, John Wiley & Sons ISBN 0-471-93620-0
  3. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-01-02. Retrieved 2013-05-22. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ Proposal for Identification of a Substance of Very High Concern on the Basis of the Criteria Set Out in REACH Article 57, Swedish Chemicals Agency, 22 February 2018.

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