Boron is assimilated by plants from soil and is therefore a natural constituent of many foods, mainly fruits and vegetables. The amount of boron absorbed varies considerably among different plant species (Butterwick et al. 1989). The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has set a tolerance limit of 8 ppm boron for citrus fruit (21 CFR 180. 271).
Boron compounds are present in several consumer products. Sodium borate and boric acid are widely used in cosmetics. Over 600 cosmetic products, including makeup, skin and hair care preparations, and shaving creams, contain these compounds at concentrations of up to 5% (Beyer et al. 1983). These compounds have also been used in insecticide powders for roach control, in medicines applied to the skin at concentrations up to 5% (Beyer et al. 1983) and in some laundry products (Butterwick et al. 1989; Stokinger 1981; Waggott 1969).
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