What is Barium – Barium Element Definition
Barium occurs naturally in trace amounts in most surface and ground water from their exposure to barium-containing minerals. Industrial release of barium occurs from oil and gas drilling muds, coal burning, and auto paints. It is also widely used in brick, tile, and ceramics manufacture. The insoluble and un-absorbed salt, barium sulfate, is used clinically as a radiopaque dye for X-ray diagnosis of the gastrointestinal tract.
Chronic exposure may contribute to hypertension. Rats ingesting 0.5 mg/kg/dayâ1 barium in drinking water (10 mg/L) for 16 months or 6 mg/kg/dayâ1 (100 mg/L) for 4 months demonstrated hypertensive effects; however, another 4-month study of rats exposed to 15 mg/kg/dayâ1 in drinking water found no effect. Human epidemiological studies with community drinking water containing from 2 to 10 mg/L barium did not provide definitive results (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1989b; Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, 1992b). The MCLG and MCL for barium are 5 mg/L, based on hypertension among humans.