Boric acid and sodium borates have been considered as being "toxic to reproduction and development", following results of animal studies with high doses. Experimentally, a NOAEL of 17.5 mg B/kg-bw/day (corresponds to similar to 2020 ng boron/g blood) has been identified for the (male) reproductive effects of boron in a multigenerational study of rats, and a NOAEL for the developmental effects in rats was identified at 9.6 mg B/kg-bw/day (corresponds to 1270 ng boron/g blood). These values are being taken as the basis of current EU safety assessments. The present study was conducted to assess the boron exposure under extreme exposure conditions in a boric acid production plant located in Bandirma, Turkey. The mean blood boron concentrations of low and high exposure groups were 72.94 +/- 15.43 (48.46-99.91) and 223.89 +/- 60.49 (152.82-454.02) ng/g respectively. The mean blood boron concentration of the high exposure group is still similar to 6 times lower than the highest no effect level of boron in blood with regard to the developmental effects in rats and similar to 9 times lower than the highest no effect level of boron in blood with regard to the reprotoxic effects in male rats. In this context, boric acid and sodium borates should not be considered as toxic to reproduction for humans in daily life. (C) 2012 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.