ATSDR - Toxic Substances - Barium
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Barium

CAS ID #: 7440-39-3

Affected Organ Systems: Cardiovascular (Heart and Blood Vessels), Gastrointestinal (Digestive), Reproductive (Producing Children)

Cancer Classification: None

Chemical Classification: Inorganic substances

Summary: Barium is a silvery-white metal which exists in nature only in ores containing mixtures of elements. It combines with other chemicals such as sulfur or carbon and oxygen to form barium compounds. Barium compounds are used by the oil and gas industries to make drilling muds. Drilling muds make it easier to drill through rock by keeping the drill bit lubricated. They are also used to make paint, bricks, ceramics, glass, and rubber. Barium sulfate is sometimes used by doctors to perform medical tests and to take x-rays of the gastrointestinal tract.

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