Barium (138,8 a.m.u.) low concentration is present in human body, mostly in bones в. Barium species are similar to the calcium species regarding its properties, it is also similar to calcium regarding spreading kinetics and ways of excretion.
Barium toxicity depends on forms of species. Barium sulphate is sparsely soluble, slightly-toxic, used in medicine as a radiopaque material. Other barium salts, e.g. highly-soluble barium chloride are highly-toxic.
Clinical implications of acute intoxication include respiratory distress, increase of pressure, heart beat disorder, liver involvement, kidney, heart, spleen damage and cerebral edema.
In manufacturing barium is used to produce paints, enamel, bricks, tiles, glass, pesticides, gasoline additives, rubber, vacuum package and pyrotechnics.
Sources of barium intake could be contaminated water, dust. Barium inhaled together with industrial dust could absorb in blood and depose in lungs, causing development of pneumoconiosis in some cases.
Barium intaken through gastroenteric tract is being spread among the whole body, but the bones accumulate most of it. Excretion of barium is mostly done by kidney and together with bilis. Concentration of barium in our hair correlates to the increased concentration of barium in industrial dust.