Data Needs

Methods for Determining Biomarkers of Exposure and Effect. Boron can be determined sensitively and selectively by inductively coupled plasma atomic emission analysis (EPA 1986a; Imbus et al. 1963). This method of analysis requires that the analyte be placed in solution, which can be a problem with some of the more refractory boron species. With the exception of boron carbide (NIOSH 1985a), methods are lacking for the determination of specific boron compounds.

Methods for the determination of metabolites of boron in biological materials would be useful in studying the toxicity and metabolism of this element.

More specific methods for biomarkers of exposure would be helpful in toxicological studies of boron.

Methods for Determining Parent Compounds and Degradation Products in Environmental Media.

Inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry is the only satisfactory multielement method available for the determination of boron in water, air, and solid waste samples (APHA 1985c; EPA 1982, 1986a; NIOSH 1984). Colorimetric procedures are as sensitive and precise but are more labor intensive. Colorimetric procedures do provide adequate methods for those laboratories that do not have ICP instrumentation. There is a need for methods that require less expensive instrumentation, although such methods would be very difficult to develop.

Sampling methodologies for very low level elemental substances like boron continue to pose problems such as nonrepresentative samples, insufficient sample volumes, contamination, and labor- intensive, tedious extraction and purification procedures (Green and LePape 1987).

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