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Barium, soluble compounds (as Ba)

General Description

  • Synonyms: Varies depending upon specific compound.
  • OSHA IMIS Code Number: 0310
  • Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) Registry Number: 7440-39-3
  • Other Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) Registry Number: 10361-37-2
  • NIOSH Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances (RTECS) Identification Number: CQ8370000
  • Department of Transportation Regulation Number (49 CFR 172.101) and Emergency Response Guidebook: 1564 154 (barium compounds, n.o.s.)
  • Chemical Description and Physical Properties:
    • appearance and odor vary depending upon specific compound

Exposure Limits

  • OSHA Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL):
  • American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) Threshold Limit Value (TLV): 0.5 mg/m3 TWA; Appendix A4 - Not Classifiable as a Human Carcinogen. (TLV listed as Barium and soluble compounds, as Ba)
  • National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Recommended Exposure Limit (REL): 0.5 mg/m3 TWA (Note: The REL also applies to other soluble barium compounds (as Ba) except Barium sulfate)

Health Factors

  • NIOSH Immediately Dangerous To Life or Health Concentration (IDLH): 1,100 mg Ba/m3
  • Potential Symptoms: Irritation of eyes, skin, upper respiratory system; skin burns (by hydroxide, carbonate); gastroenteritis; muscle spasm; slow pulse, extrasystoles; hypokalemia. Ingestion Acute: Abdominal cramps, profuse watery diarrhea; vomiting; severe muscle weakness; cardiac arrhythmia; unconsciousness; respiratory arrest.
  • Health Effects: Acute toxicity, gastrointestinal, hypokalemia (HE4)
  • Affected Organs: Eyes, skin, respiratory system, heart, CNS
  • Notes:
    1. The chief pathophysiology of acute barium poisoning is a life-threatening decrease in serum potassium concentration, which may be exacerbated by blood transfusions.
    2. Unusual cases of barium poisoning that resulted from an explosion in a munitions factory or contamination of barium sulfate with soluble barium salts in a radiologic contrast suspension have been reported.
  • Literature Basis:
    • NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards: Barium chloride (as Ba).
    • International Chemical Safety Cards (WHO/IPCS/ILO): Barium chloride.
    • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Barium toxicity after exposure to contaminated contrast solution - Goias State, Brazil, 2003. MMWR Morb. Mortal. Wkly Rep. 52(43): 1047-1048, 2003.
    • Jacobs, I.A., Taddeo, J., Kelly K. and Valenziano, C.: Poisoning as a result of barium styphnate explosion. Am. J. Ind. Med. 41(4): 285-288, 2002.
    • Pohanish, R.P. (editor): Barium. In, Sittig's Handbook of Toxic and Hazardous Chemicals and Carcinogens, Fourth Ed., Vol. 1. Norwich, NY: Noyes Publications, William Andrew Publishing, 2002, pp. 277-279.
  • Date Last Revised: 05/12/2004

Monitoring Methods used by OSHA

Laboratory Sampling/Analytical Method:
  • Mixed Cellulose Ester Filter (MCEF) 0.8 microns
  • analytical solvent: Water Extraction
  • maximum volume: 960 Liters
  • minimum volume: 480 Liters
  • maximum flow rate: 2.0 L/min
  • current analytical method: Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy; AAS
  • method reference: NIOSH Analytical Method (NIOSH 7056 (PDF)), OSHA Analytical Method (OSHA ID-121)
  • method classification: Partially Validated
  • note: Submit as a separate sample. If the filter is not overloaded, samples may be collected up to an 8-hour period. Solubility of the Barium compounds, if known, should be transmitted to the Salt Lake Technical Center. Soluble means water soluble.
Wipe Sampling Method:
  • Whatman smear tab Filter
  • analytical solvent: distilled water

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