Boric acid and sodium borates are currently classified as being toxic to reproduction under "Category 1B" with the hazard statement of "H360 FD" in the European CLP regulation. This has prompted studies on boron-mediated reprotoxic effects in male workers in boron mining areas and boric acid production plants. By contrast, studies on boron-mediated developmental effects in females are scarce. The present study was designed to fill this gap. Hundred and ninety nine females residing in Bandirma and Bigadic participated in this study investigating pregnancy outcomes. The participants constituted a study group covering blood boron from low (< 100 ng B/g blood, n = 143) to high (> 150 ng B/g blood, n = 27) concentrations. The mean blood boron concentration and the mean estimated daily boron exposure of the high exposure group was 274.58 (151.81-975.66) ng B/g blood and 24.67 (10.47-57.86) mg B/day, respectively. In spite of the high level of daily boron exposure, boron-mediated adverse effects on induced abortion, spontaneous abortion (miscarriage), stillbirth, infant death, neonatal death, early neonatal death, preterm birth, congenital anomalies, sex ratio and birth weight of newborns were not observed.
Keywords: Biological monitoring; Boric acid; Boron exposure; Developmental toxicity; Pregnancy outcomes.