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Chemical Sampling Information (CSI)
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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 2012 Emergency Response Guidebook [4 MB PDF, 392 pages]: 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):

General Industry: 29 CFR 1910.1000 Table Z-1 - 0.5 mg/m3 TWA

Construction Industry: 29 CFR 1926.55 Appendix A - 0.5 mg/m3 TWA

Maritime: 29 CFR 1915.1000 Table Z-Shipyards

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. INGES 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


  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:

  • sampling media: 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 [19 KB PDF, 3 pages]), 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:

  • sampling media:Whatman smear tab Filter
    analytical solvent: distilled water

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