Publications : 2014

Maier A, Vincent M, Hack E, Nance P, Ball W. 2014. Derivation of an occupational exposure limit for inorganic borates using a weight of evidence approach. Regul Toxicol Pharmacol 68(3):424–437.


Inorganic borates are encountered in many settings worldwide, spurring international efforts to develop exposure guidance (US EPA, 2004; WHO, 2009; ATSDR, 2010) and occupational exposure limits (OEL) (ACGIH, 2005; MAK, 2011). We derived an updated OEL to reflect new data and current international risk assessment frameworks. We assessed toxicity and epidemiology data on inorganic borates to identify relevant adverse effects. International risk assessment frameworks (IPCS, 2005, 2007) were used to evaluate endpoint candidates: reproductive toxicity, developmental toxicity, and sensory irritation. For each endpoint, a preliminary OEL was derived and adjusted based on consideration of toxicokinetics, toxicodynamics, and other uncertainties. Selection of the endpoint point of departures (PODs) is supported by dose–response modeling. Developmental toxicity was the most sensitive systemic effect. An OEL of 1.6 mg B/m3 was estimated for this effect based on a POD of 63 mg B/m3 with an uncertainty factor (UF) of 40. Sensory irritation was considered to be the most sensitive effect for the portal of entry. An OEL of 1.4 mg B/m3 was estimated for this effect based on the identified POD and an UF of 1. An OEL of 1.4 mg B/m3 as an 8-h time-weighted average (TWA) is recommended.