Boric acid and inorganic borates are important chemical compounds which are toxic in nature and show symptoms of poisoning on oral ingestion of as little as 5 g or on topical application to damaged skin. Boric acid induces reproductive and developmental toxicity in mice, rats and rabbits. It has been shown to produce cytotoxic, embryotoxic, genotoxic, ototoxic and phytotoxic effects. Boric acid is used as an antimicrobial agent for the treatment of Candida and Aspergillus infections. It is also used for the treatment of prostate cancer, deep wounds and ear infections. One of the major uses of boric acid, usually with sodium borate, in chemical and pharmaceutical studies is to act as a buffer for alkaline solutions. Borate ion has been found to catalyze the degradation of drugs such as atropine, benzylpenicillin, carbenicillin, cefotaxime, cephradine, hydrocortisone, indomethacin, methotrexate, oxytetracycline, phenylbutazone, minocycline, 5- fluorouracil, danazol, octastatin and methacholine chloride. It exerts a stabilizing effect on chloramphenicol, epinephrine, á-methyldope, riboflavin, ribose, glucose and ethyl glucuronide solutions on exposure to heat or light. Analytical methods have been developed for the determination of boric acid as glycerol/mannitol/sorbitol complexes. Boric acid has extensive applications as a complexing agent in the determination of diols, polyols, sugar alcohols, disaccharides, oligosaccharides, polysaccharides, glycosides, nucleotides, aminophylline, caffeic acid and other compounds using chromatographic, spectrometric, electrochemical and electrophoretic methods. Borate interactions with polysaccharides, nucleotides and cytochrome c have been investigated to determine the nature of their association. Amperometric glucose biosensors with extended concentration range are also based on the complexation effect of borate. Boric acid has been used in the determination of antimony, chromium, indium, rubidium and uranium by atomic absorption spectrometry and fluorimetry. A thin-layer chromatographic system using precoated plates impregnated with boric acid has been developed for the separation of phospholipid mixtures. Boric acid gel and boron containing chiral stationary phases are used for the chromatographic separation and determination of primary aminecontaining compounds. Boric acid and borates are widely used in various industrial processes, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, agricultural products and as a preservative and insecticide. Further uses of boric acid and borates may be explored to extend their applications in chemical and pharmaceutical analysis.