Healthy Environment, Healthy Community, Healthy Business

Environment Protection Authority

Environmental Issues

Chemicals and pesticides

Boron based

Boron is a preservative used to protect the borer-susceptible sapwood of some hardwood species.

boron based treated timber

Boron based treated timber

The active ingredient of these timber treatments is disodium octaborate tetrahydrate, which is a relatively inert chemical that is non-toxic to mammals in small amounts. It is naturally occurring and not considered an environmental threat.

Hazard level: H1, or H2 (south of the Tropic of Capricorn)

See the Hazard levels and chemical treatment types chart for more information.


Lyctid borer (Powder Post Borer)

Typical uses


Borer-susceptible hardwood used for dry interior framing, flooring, furniture and joinery

While it can also be used to treat timber framing in-situ for termite protection this application is not widespread in NSW.


Inside, above ground

It can’t be used for in-ground or in-water situations because it leaches. However, it can be used externally in some situations if it is protected from the weather during and after construction.


Learn about safe handling.

Page last updated: 12 May 2016