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Is Boric Acid Harmful in Pregnant Women?

By Krista Sheehan ; Updated July 27, 2017

Although it has been categorized as "benign" by the Environmental Protection Agency, boric acid can be extremely harmful to a pregnant woman and her fetus. The health risks associated with boric acid during pregnancy are quite significant, and it should be avoided as much as possible.

Function

Boric acid is used for a variety of reasons, including pharmaceutical and agricultural, among others. It is commonly used to treat eye infections, yeast infections and athlete’s foot. Boric acid can be used to kill roaches, bugs and fleas, and it is also sometimes used in mattresses, futons and upholstery.

Miscarriage

The National Toxicology Program has conducted studies on rats, mice and rabbits regarding pregnancy success after boric acid exposure. In all three animals, miscarriages increased drastically after the pregnant mother was exposed to boric acid.

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Birth Defects

If the baby does survive the pregnancy and birth, exposure to boric acid will likely lead to significant birth defects, including heart defects and abnormalities of the body structure, such as abnormal ribs and missing vertebrae. A study done by Boston University Medical Center found that human mothers who used boric acid medications during their pregnancies were almost two times as likely to give birth to children with major birth defects.

Birth Weight

Animal studies have also shown that birth weight is affected by boric acid exposure during pregnancy. When compared to the offspring of unexposed mothers, the offspring of mothers who were exposed to boric acid were almost always born at a significantly lower body weight.

Solution

Pregnant mothers should avoid exposure to boric acid as much as possible. If you become pregnant and are taking a medication that contains boric acid, you should speak with your doctor regarding an alternative medication. Also, do not use any roach killers that contain boric acid during pregnancy.

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