Boron gets into drinking water from both man made waste and naturally occurring sources such as these Borate mineral deposits. Safe Home offers several kits that provide drinking water testing for boron in city or well water supplies.

Parameter Type: Drinking Water Testing for Metals

Parameter Name: Boron

What it is and Where it Comes From:

Boron is a chemical element with the symbol B and atomic number 5. Produced entirely by cosmic ray spallation and supernova and not by stellar nucleosynthesis. It is a low-abundance element in the Solar System and in the Earth’s crust. It constitutes about 0.001 percent by weight of Earth’s crust. Boron is concentrated on Earth by the water-solubility of its more common naturally occurring compounds, the borate minerals. Boron can be found in many household items and present in everyday environment. How does boron get into my drinking water? Boron gets into drinking water from both naturally occurring and man-made sources. Some areas in the western United States (California, Nevada, Oregon) have high concentrations of boron in some of their soils. Contamination of water can come directly from industrial wastewater and municipal sewage, as well as indirectly from air deposition and soil runoff. Natural weathering processes, burning of coal in power plants, chemical plants, and manufacturing facilities releases boron into the air; and fertilizers, herbicides, and industrial wastes are among the sources of soil contamination. Drinking water testing gives you several benefits like peace of mind, identifying contaminants in your water, and insight into health concerns. Safe Home offers Laboratory drinking water testing kits for boron, allowing you to collect your water sample and ship it directly to our EPA-Certified Laboratory. This platform of drinking water testing for boron will give you an accurate level based on the lowest level of a parameter our instruments can detect (Method Detection Level). Safe Home drinking water testing for metals can be used for city and well water supplies. Drinking water testing should be done any time you notice a significant change in your water quality.

Health Effects:

What adverse health effects have been observed in humans and animals exposed to high levels of boron? An acute overdose to infants has caused diarrhea, vomiting, signs of irritability, erythema in the diaper area, a mild red rash on the face and neck, a pus-like discharge or mild congestion of the eye, and possibly convulsive seizures. In adults, an acute overdose causes nausea, vomiting, redness of the skin, difficulty swallowing due to ulcers in the throat, and a non-bloody diarrhea. In animals and domestic pets, acute excessive exposure has caused lethargy, rapid respiration, eye inflammation, swelling of the paws, shedding of the skin on the paws and tails, excitation during handling, and changes in the cells of the forestomach.

Solutions to Contaminant Levels:

After drinking water testing, what can I do to solve my water issue? The Federal Government does not regulate boron in drinking water and, public drinking water systems are not required to monitor for this contaminant. Some states have drinking water standards or guidelines for boron (California, Florida, Maine, Minnesota, New Hampshire, and Wisconsin); these range from 0.6 to 1 mg/L. You may want to call your drinking water utility or state drinking water program to determine if monitoring is required in your state. Boron naturally occurs mainly as boric acid and as boric acid salts. Boric acid can be removed by ion exchangers, but very slowly, because of its resemblance to silicate. Ion exchange is a water treatment process commonly used for water softening or demineralization, but it also is used to remove other substances from the water in processes such as de alkalization, deionization, denitrification, and disinfection. Who do I need to contact to find out more information about water quality in my area? Every community water supplier must provide an annual report to its customers, known as a Consumer Confidence Report (CCR). The report provides information on your local drinking water quality, including the water’s source, contaminants found in the water, and how consumers can get involved in protecting drinking water. How often does the local public water system preform drinking water testing? Frequency of drinking water testing depends on the number of people served, the type of water source, and types of contaminants. Certain contaminants are tested more frequently than others, as established by the Safe Drinking Water Act. You can find out about levels of regulated contaminants in your treated water for the previous calendar year in your annual Consumer Confidence Report (CCR).


File Under:

Drinking Water Testing - Parameter Types


Important Terms

  • MCL’s (Maximum Contaminant Levels) MCL’s are levels that set by the USEPA and are enforceable to Public Water Utilities, requiring additional treatment, when the levels are exceeded. These same guidelines should be at least considered, by owners of private wells. Some states have more strict guidelines than the USEPA. Not all parameters have MCL’s. If the parameter has an MCL, it’s listed.
  • MCLG’s (Maximum Contaminant Level Goals) MCLG’s are goals set by the USEPA that we should all strive for when consuming drinking water from any water supply. Concentrations of certain parameters (even below the MCL’s), are still not healthy for humans and animals to drink. These same guidelines should at least be be considered, by owners of private wells. Some states have more strict guidelines than the USEPA. Not all parameters have MCLG’s. If the parameter has an MCLG, it’s listed.
  • ACTION LEVELS ACTION LEVELS are a specified concentration of a respective parameter in drinking water, that is above a “treatment level” set by the USEPA. When these levels are exceeded, further treatment and monitoring is required by the respective utility who’s water violated this limit.Action Levels apply to parameter-rules such as but not limited to the Copper/Lead Rule.
  • PARTS PER MILLION (ppm) PPM is a scientific measurement which represents milligrams of the parameter being tested per liter of the respective liquid. Example: If Copper in your water supply is at a concentration of 1.00 mg/L, this is the same as saying the concentration is 1.00 ppm.
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