The treatment of wood with borate is a safe and durable method used to protect it from destructive organisms. Different formulations based on borates are used as preservatives to treat solid wood, reconstructed wood and other products used in the construction of interiors. Wood treated with borates has been used successfully in many countries for decades. Borates prevent decomposition by fungi, are deadly to termites, carpenter ants, beetles and cockroaches, and are safe for people, pets and the environment.
Boron interferes with the metabolic pathways of termites when ingested, effectively exterminating them. Borates create an accessible, durable and safe system to protect wood. Because they have the lowest degree of toxicity to mammals, borates are the only accepted agents for the conservation of wood in uses such as pencils and toys. These are also used in the protection of logs and sawn timber. In addition, boron is an effective flame retardant as it provides a safe environment, inhibits the ignition of wood and slows down the spread of flames.