Consumer Safety Information Sheet


Borate – (Disodium Octaborate Tetrahydrate) (DOT)

Disodium Octaborate Tetrahydrate (DOT), referred to as “oxides of boron” (SBX), is the active ingredient in the boron wood preservative. Borates have been used as wood preservatives for over 50 years, and are well documented in scientific literature. Borates protect wood from many organisms such as wood destroying decay fungi (wet or dry rot); wood-boring insects (furniture beetles, house longhorn beetles, powderpost beetles, carpenter ants); and subterranean termites, including the voracious Formosan termite.

Borates are naturally occurring compounds of oxygen and boron, one of the 109 elements in the chemist’s Periodic Table of Elements. Boron is used in the manufacture of fertilizer, ceramics, enamel, fabrics, soap, cosmetics, shaving cream and contact lens solutions as well as insecticides and wood preservatives.

When borate pressure treated wood is used as recommended – in protected use and not in contact with liquid water for prolonged periods – the borates are inert and remain in the wood without degrading or decomposing.

Follow the safe practices listed below when working with pressure-treated wood. Specific work practices may vary depending on the environment and safety requirements of individual jobs.


Borate (SBX) pressure treated wood can generally be used for all interior framing lumber, including wall studs, ceiling joists, trusses, and millwork, for plywood cladding and flooring, and for any other interior wood components used above ground and out of contact with liquid water.

Borate (SBX) can be used for both new and remedial construction in climates with high rainfall, high humidity and in areas subject to fungal decay, insect and/or termite attack.

Job site storage – intended for interior use only – store off the ground and cover to protect from water and allow for ventilation

During construction if the wood should become wet it should be allowed to dry before being covered or enclosed.

Borates are not recommended for use in an exterior environment.

Some preservative may migrate from the treated wood into soil/water or may dislodge from the treated wood surface upon contact with the skin. Wash exposed skin areas thoroughly.

Do not use treated wood under circumstances where the preservative may become a component of food or animal feed. Examples of such sites would be structures or containers for storing silage or food.

Only use treated wood that's visibly clean and free from surface residue.

Do not use treated wood where it may come in direct or indirect contact with public drinking water.

Do not use treated wood as mulch.

Wood pressure-treated with Borates (SBX) preservatives may be used inside residences as long as all sawdust and construction debris are cleaned up and disposed of after construction.


Wear gloves to protect against splinters.

Wear a dust mask when machining any wood to reduce the inhalation of wood dusts. Avoid frequent or prolonged inhalation of sawdust from treated wood. Machining operations should be performed outdoors whenever possible to avoid indoor accumulations of airborne sawdust.

Wear appropriate eye protection to reduce the potential for eye injury from wood particles and flying debris during machining.

Wash exposed areas thoroughly with mild soap and water after working with treated wood.

If preservative or sawdust accumulates on clothes, launder before reuse. Wash work clothes separately from other household clothing.

Installation and Maintenance

Cuts and holes in lumber should be liberally brush-coated with a borate based end-cut solution containing a minimum 10% Borate solution.

Borates are non-corrosive, so ordinary ferrous or mild steel fasteners are generally acceptable for borate pressure treated wood. For best results, hot dipped galvanized or stainless steel fasteners and fittings are recommended.

Mold growth can and does occur on the surface of many products, including untreated and treated wood, during prolonged surface exposure to excessive moisture conditions. To remove mold from the treated wood surface, wood should be allowed to dry. Typically, mild soap and water can be used to remove remaining surface mold.


Do not burn treated wood. Preserved wood should not be burned in open fires, stoves or fireplaces.

Residential users may dispose of treated wood scraps and cut offs by ordinary trash collection or burial. Commercial and industrial users of treated wood should dispose of Borate treated wood scraps and cut offs in accordance with local, provincial and federal regulations.