Boron is a crucial part of cell walls in plants, and it also has many industrial applications. Boron is important for manufacturing Pyrex, a borosilicate glass, as well as glazes, cleansers and food preservatives, as stated by the Royal Society of Chemistry.
Plants that lack boron form weaker cell walls, making them less likely to thrive and grow. While taking in too much boron can harm metabolic activity in both people and animals eating those plants, most people only ingest approximately 60 grams during their lifetime, according to the Royal Society of Chemistry.
Borosilicate glass, or Pyrex, is known for its resistance to heat and its durability. This type of glass also appears in insulation and fiberglass textiles. Boric acid, boric oxide and borax (sodium borate) are the most commonly used compounds associated with boron. They appear in cleansing powders and antiseptic chemicals as well as eye drops, according to the Royal Society of Chemistry.
Some less common uses of boron include creating the flame retardant sodium octaborate and using the boron-10 isotope to regulate the presence of neutrons in nuclear reactors. Some compounds that contain boron are under study to discover if they make an effective treatment for brain tumors, as stated by the Royal Society of Chemistry.