Toxin Profiles

Substance Name

Barium
Identification Number: CASRN | 7440-39-3

  Nastiness Attributes


  • Endocrine Disrupter

    Interferes with your hormones. Hormones are powerful messengers that can bind to DNA. You don't want to mess with them.

  • Reproductive Effects

    Interferes with fertility

  • Birth/Developmental

    Known to effect development of fetus.

  • Metabolic Interference or Disruption

    Interferes with human metabolism. This can be a very serious thing. Some of these interference mechanics are well established. However, often long term effects and health consequences remain largely unknown. Additionally an emerging area of concern and one that is not currently studied, is the combined synergistic effects these metabolically disrupting chemicals have on human health.

    Metabolic interference happens when the substance produces highly reactive and often damaging intermediates during detoxification or when the substance binds to specific enzymes, important structural groups on molecules, receptors and membranes or targets DNA or mimics key nutrients.

  • Exposure Produces Health Symptoms

    Symptoms maybe short term or long term depending on the exposure duration and intensity and effects areas like Cardiovascular, Gastrointestinal, Cognition, Fatigue. A substance with this attribute may cause an allergic skin reaction, serious eye irritation, allergy or asthma symptoms or breathing difficulties if inhaled.

  • Toxic to specific organs

    Can damage liver, kidney, lungs, heart or gut. Ironically liver, kidneys and gut are the main detoxifications systems.


  • CATEGORIES: Pit Chemicals | Chemicals detected in flowback and produced water - collectively referred to as - hydraulic fracturing wastewater | Industrial/Workplace Toxin | Food Toxin | Natural Toxin
  • SUBSTANCE LINEAGE: Inorganic Compounds | Homogeneous Metal Compounds | Homogeneous Alkaline Earth Metal Compounds | | Homogeneous Alkaline Earth Metal Compounds
  • SYNONYMS: Ba(2+) | Ba2+ | Barium ion | Barium(2+) | Barium(2+) ion | Barium(II) | Barium(II) cation | Barium(II) ion
  • DESCRIPTION: Has been used in CSG, Hydraulic Fracturing Operations (Fracking) as - Unknown | Barium is a dense alkaline earth metal that occurs in nature as a divalent cation in combination with other elements. Physiologically, it exists as an ion in the body. In addition to its natural presence in the Earth's crust, and therefore its natural occurrence in most surface waters, barium is also released to the environment via industrial emissions. The residence time of barium in the atmosphere may be up to several days. Barium sulfate exists as a white orthorhombic powder or crystals. Barite, the mineral from which barium sulfate is produced, is a moderately soft crystalline white opaque to transparent mineral. The most important impurities are iron(III) oxide, aluminium oxide, silica, and strontium sulfate.Barium sulfate has a low toxicity and relatively high density of about 4.5 g*cm-3 (and thus opacity to X-rays). For this reason it is used as a radiocontrast agent in X-ray imaging of the digestive system (barium meals and barium enemas). Lithopone, a pigment that contains barium sulfate and zinc sulfide, is a permanent white that has good covering power, and does not darken when exposed to sulfides. (Wikipedia). Barium hydroxide is strongly alkaline and therefore corrosive. Barium nitrate caused mild skin irritation and severe eye irritation in rabbits. The lack of reports of skin or eye irritation in humans, despite its widespread use, suggests that barium sulfate, often used as a contrast medium, is not a strong irritant. Useful information on the sensitization potential of barium compounds was not identified. Oral intake from drinking water and food is the most prevalent route of exposure to barium compounds for the general population. For the occupational environment, data from industry in the United Kingdom and predictions made using the Estimation and Assessment of Substance Exposure (EASE) model suggest that exposures can be controlled to less than 10 mg/m3 8 hours time weighted average (total inhalable dust). In some situations, control will be to levels significantly below this value. Short term exposures may be higher than 10 mg/m3 for some tasks.The critical end points in humans for toxicity resulting from exposure to barium and barium compounds appear to be hypertension and renal function. Using a no observed adverse effect level (NOAEL) in humans of 0.21 mg barium/kg body weight per day, a tolerable intake value of 0.02 mg/kg body weight per day for barium and barium compounds has been developed in this document.Dissolved barium in aquatic environments may represent a risk to aquatic organisms such as daphnids, but it is apparently of lesser risk to fish and aquatic plants, although data are limited. No adverse effects have been reported in ecological assessments of terrestrial plants or wildlife, although some plants are known to bioaccumulate barium from the soil.(Concise international chemical assessment document 33; http://www.inchem.org/documents/cicads/cicads/cicad33.htm).
  • COMMENTS:
  • toxin chemical structure pubchem
  • FORMULA: Ba
  • DATA SOURCES: DATA SOURCES: ARTICLE 4 | T3DB | PubChem | TEDX | EPA in USA
  • LAST UPDATE: 21/04/2015

  Health Associations

Mostly focused on Health Implications of Long Term Exposure to this substance

  • SYMPTOMS: Ingesting excess barium may cause vomiting, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, difficulties in breathing, increased or decreased blood pressure, numbness around the face, and muscle weakness. High levels may result in changes in heart rhythm or paralysis and possibly death. (L214)
  • POSSIBLE HEALTH CONSEQUENCES: The health effects of the different barium compounds depend on how well the compound dissolves in water or the stomach contents. At low doses, barium acts as a muscle stimulant, while higher doses affect the nervous system, causing cardiac irregularities, tremors, weakness, anxiety, dyspnea, paralysisand possibly death. Barium may also cause gastrointestinal disturbances, damage the kidneys and cause decreases in body weight. (L214) | Barium compounds are absorbed via ingestion and inhalation. Barium is principally found in the bone, while small amounts exists in the muscle, adipose tissue, skin, and connective tissue. Barium is not metabolized, but may be transported and incorporated into complexes or tissues. Barium is excreted in the urine and faeces. (L214)
  • ACTION OF TOXIN: Barium is a competitive potassium channel antagonist that blocks the passive efflux of intracellular potassium, resulting in a shift of potassium from extracellular to intracellular compartments. The intracellular translocation of potassium results in a decreased resting membrane potential, making the muscle fibers electrically unexcitable and causing paralysis. (L214) | Barium is believed to bind and activate calmodulin, causing certain neurotoxic effects. (A145)
  • TOXIN SITES OF ACTION IN CELL: "Cytoplasm", "Extracellular"
  • Additional Exposure Routes: Barium compounds are used by the oil and gas industries to make drilling muds, and can also be used in the production of paint, bricks, ceramics, glass, and rubber. They are also often used in pyrotechnics, as they emit a green light when burned. (L214, L215)

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  Exposure Routes

These are the Exposure Routes we have so far for this substance. There are almost certainly more. We update this section regularly. The number of chemicals with 2 or more nastiness attributes in an exposure route is shown in orange. They grey badge shows the total amount of chemicals within the exposure route.


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