Barium

(BAN, USAN, rINN)

💊 Chemical information

Bario; Baryum.
Ba = 137.327.
CAS — 7440-39-3.

Description.

Barium is a soft, highly reactive, silvery-white metal.

💊 Adverse Effects and Treatment

All barium salts that are wateror acid-soluble are very toxic. The symptoms of barium poisoning arise from stimulation of all forms of muscle and include vomiting, excess salivation, colic, diarrhoea, slow or irregular pulse, hypertension, dysarthria, confusion, dizziness, paraesthesias, vertigo, muscle tremors, seizures, muscular paralysis, and respiratory or metabolic acidosis. Hypokalaemia is common. Renal impairment due to barium poisoning has been reported. Death from cardiac or respiratory failure may occur. In acute poisoning, emptying the stomach by lavage is recommended if possible. Magnesium or sodium sulfate may be given to convert barium to insoluble barium sulfate. Hypokalaemia and metabolic acidosis should be corrected and ventilation assisted if necessary. Excretion may be increased by diuresis. Haemodialysis may be used in severe poisoning.
1. Lewi Z, Bar-Khayim Y. Food poisoning from barium carbonate. Lancet 1964; ii: 342–3
2. Diengott D, et al. Hypokalaemia in barium poisoning. Lancet 1964; ii: 343–4
3. Gould DB, et al. Barium sulfide poisoning: some factors contributing to survival. Arch Intern Med 1973; 132: 891–4
4. Berning J. Hypokalaemia of barium poisoning. Lancet 1975; i: 110
5. Wetherill SF, et al. Acute renal failure associated with barium chloride poisoning. Ann Intern Med 1981; 95: 187–8
6. Phelan DM, et al. Is hypokalaemia the cause of paralysis in barium poisoning? BMJ 1984; 289: 882
7. WHO. Barium. Environmental Health Criteria 107. Geneva: WHO, 1990. Available at: http://www.inchem.org/documents/ ehc/ehc/ehc107.htm (accessed 24/07/08
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10. Jacobs IA, et al. Poisoning as a result of barium styphnate explosion. Am J Ind Med 2002; 41: 285–8
11. Bahlmann H, et al. Acute barium nitrate intoxication treated by hemodialysis. Acta Anaesthesiol Scand 2005; 49: 110–12.

💊 Uses and Administration

The soluble barium salts are not used in therapeutics but are widely used in industry. For the uses of barium chloride and barium hydroxide lime, see below. Barium sulfide has been used as a depilatory and barium carbonate was used as a rodenticide. The insoluble barium sulfate is used as a contrast medium.
Published January 07, 2019.