United States
                Environmental Protection
                       Prevention, Pesticides
                       And Toxic Substances
December 1993
                R.E.D.   FACTS
                Barium  Metaborate
   Use Profile
     All pesticides sold or used in the United States must be registered by
EPA, based on scientific studies showing that they can be used without posing
unreasonable risks to people or the environment.  Because of advances in
scientific  knowledge,  the law requires  that pesticides  which were  first
registered years ago be reregistered to ensure that they meet today's more
stringent standards.
     In evaluating pesticides for reregistration, EPA  obtains and reviews a
complete set of studies from pesticide producers, describing the human health
and environmental effects of each pesticide.  The Agency imposes any regulat-
ory controls that are needed to effectively manage each  pesticide's risks.  EPA
then reregisters pesticides  that can be used without posing undue hazards to
human health or the environment.
     When a pesticide is eligible for reregistration, EPA announces this and
explains why in a Reregistration Eligibility Decision (RED) document.  This
fact sheet summarizes the information in the RED  document for  barium
metaborate monohydrate, referred to as barium metaborate.

     Barium metaborate is a microbiocide/microbiostat used as an industrial
preservative in the manufacturing process of paints,  paper/paper products,
industrial adhesives and coatings.  Barium metaborate products are formulated
as soluble concentrates and ready-to-use solutions. They are added to paints,
paper/paper products, adhesives and coatings during the  manufacturing process
using a method that involves open pouring into a metering  pump.
     A newly  registered product which  contains  a mixture of  barium
metaborate and another pesticide active ingredient, and is used as a fungicide
to protect walls, ceilings and pipes from mold and bacteria using a brush or
airless spray, is not subject to this RED.
     Barium metaborate is a compound of boron, which is ubiquitous in the
environment and occurs naturally in  soils,  water, food  and  forage crops.
Boron is an essential nutrient for plants as well  as an essential element for
many organisms.

Human Health
     Barium metaborate was first registered in the United States in 1960 as
broad spectrum bactericide and fungicide.  Currently, four end use products
(three of which are covered by this RED) and no technical or manufacturing
use pesticide products are registered which contain barium metaborate as an
active ingredient.
     In April 1983, EPA issued a Registration Standard for barium metaborate
(NTIS  #PB84-168376).  In February 1991,  EPA issued a Data Call-in (DCI)
for this chemical, requiring product chemistry, ecological effects and toxicity
     Initially, the barium metaborate reregistration case also contained the
active ingredient sodium metaborate.  Since sodium metaborate is more similar
to boric acid, however, it was included in the Boric Acid RED,  completed in
September 1993.

Human Toxicity
     Since only indoor,  non-food uses are covered by this RED, EPA did not
require the submission  of chronic  toxicity,  carcinogenicity  or reproductive
toxicity studies.
     Barium metaborate generally  is of moderate  to low  acute toxicity, and
has been placed in Toxicity Category III for  most acute effects including oral
and dermal toxicity, acute inhalation, and eye irritation. It has been placed in
Toxicity  Category  IV (indicating the  lowest  degree  of acute  toxicity) for
dermal irritation.
     An acute neurotoxicity study using rats showed no treatment-related
effects.  A combined subchronic  toxicity and neurotoxicity study using rats
showed a treatment-related decrease in forelimb grip strength  in high dose
males, and increased ambulatory activity in high dose males and mid- and high
dose females.
     A developmental toxicity study using rabbits showed a maternal toxicity
no observed effect level (NOEL) of 10 mg/kg/day,  and a lowest observed
effect level (LOEL) of 20  mg/kg/day. The NOEL for developmental toxicity
was  20 mg/kg/day, the highest dose tested.  Barium metaborate shows no
evidence of mutagenicity.
Dietary Exposure
     Barium metaborate has no registered food or feed uses. Therefore, no
dietary exposure is expected to occur as a result of its pesticide uses.
Occupational and Residential  Exposure
     The barium metaborate products subject to this RED are  added to paints,
paper/paper products,  adhesives  and  coatings during  the  manufacturing
process,  using  a method that involves open pouring into  a metering pump.
During this process, dermal exposure to mixers, loaders and applicators could
be significant.  However, EPA's assessment indicates that the margin of
exposure (MOE) for factory workers involved in these activities is 190, which
is well over the 100-fold acceptable margin.   The risk to  mixers/loaders/

applicators is considered minimal. Post-application exposure also is expected
to pose minimal risks.
Human Risk Assessment
     No food uses of barium metaborate are registered; therefore no dietary
risks are posed.  The industrial preservative uses, which involve open pouring
application methods, could involve significant worker exposure. However, the
risks posed are minimal.

Environmental Fate
     Barium metaborate is one of the boron-containing salts (borates), which
are ubiquitous in  the environment.  Surface  soil,  unpolluted waterways and
seawater all typically contain significant amounts of boron as borate.  In some
areas such as the American Southwest, boron occurs  naturally in surface waters
in concentrations that have been shown to be toxic  to commercially important
     EPA is not requiring any environmental fate data for barium metaborate.
The Agency does not believe that the pesticide uses covered by this RED add
significantly to the  amount of boron already  present in, or  pose any
unreasonable risk to,  the environment.
Ecological Effects
     Barium metaborate is slightly toxic to bobwhite quail on an acute oral
toxicity basis,  but is  practically non-toxic to  birds on a subacute basis.  It is
practically non-toxic to bluegill sunfish but slightly toxic to rainbow trout and
aquatic invertebrates.
Ecological Effects Risk Assessment
     Barium metaborate applied indoors is  not likely to be released to the
environment in significant amounts in effluent.  Any minor amounts that are
released would dissociate  rapidly to  naturally-occurring ionic components.
Any exposure to fish, wildlife or endangered species would be regulated under
the National  Pollutant  Discharge  Elimination  System  (NPDES)  permit
program.  Therefore, risk to fish, wildlife and endangered species is minimal.
   Additional Data        EPA is requiring product-specific data including product chemistry and
          Required   acute toxicity studies, revised Confidential Statements of Formula (CSF), and
                       revised product labeling for reregistration of barium  metaborate  industrial
                       preservative products.
  Product Labeling        The labeling of all end-use products containing barium metaborate must
Changes Required   comply with EPA's current pesticide labeling requirements. In addition:
                       p Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Requirements

   For More
     Since  exposure  to  mixers/loaders/applicators  during  open  pouring
     methods  could  be significant, the following  PPE is required for all
     industrial preservative end-use products:
       Long-sleeved shirt and long pants;
       Socks and shoes;
       Chemical-resistant gloves.
J)  Environmental Hazard Statement
     The following effluent discharge statement must appear on the labels of
     all end-use products:
     "Do not discharge effluent containing this product into lakes, streams,
     ponds,  estuaries, oceans or other waters unless in accordance with the
     requirements of a National Pollutant Discharge  Elimination  System
     (NPDES) permit and the permitting authority has been notified in writing
     prior to discharge.  Do not discharge effluent containing this product to
     sewer  systems without previously  notifying  the local sewage treatment
     plant authority.   For guidance  contact your State  Water Board or
     Regional  Office of the EPA."

     The use  of  microbiocide  industrial preservative  products  containing
barium metaborate, registered prior to July 1, 1993,  will not pose unreasonable
risks or adverse effects to humans or the environment. Therefore, all uses of
these products  are  eligible  for reregistration.    These  products  will be
reregistered once the required product-specific data, Confidential Statements
of Formula and revised labeling are received and accepted by EPA.
     The newly registered barium metaborate product,  which also  contains
another active ingredient, will be reregistered after the  other active ingredient
is determined to be eligible for reregistration.

     EPA is requesting public  comments on the Reregistration Eligibility
Decision (RED) document for barium metaborate during a 60-day time period,
as announced in a Notice of Availability published in the Federal Register. To
obtain  a copy of the  RED document or to submit written comments, please
contact the Pesticide Docket, Public Response and Program Resources Branch,
Field Operations Division (7506C),  Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP), US
EPA, Washington,  DC 20460, telephone 703-305-5805.
     Following the comment period, the barium metaborate RED document
will be available from the National  Technical Information Service  (NTIS),
5285 Port Royal Road, Springfield, VA 22161, telephone 703-487-4650.
     For more information about EPA's pesticide  reregistration program, the
barium metaborate RED, or reregistration of individual products subject to this
RED, please contact the Special Review and Reregistration Division (7508W),
OPP, US EPA, Washington, DC 20460, telephone        703-308-8000.

     For information about the health effects of pesticides, or for assistance
in recognizing and managing pesticide poisoning symptoms, please contact the
National Pesticides Telecommunications Network (NPTN).  Call toll-free  1-
800-858-7378, 8:00 am to 6:00 pm Central Time, Monday through Friday.