What is Barium?Barium is a metal, like calcium. You never find it in its metal form (outside of a lab), as it oxidizes rapidly in the air. Instead you’ll find compounds, usually barium sulfate or barium carbonate.
(image at right of barium sulfate, from wikipedia.com)
Barium compounds are used in the plastics, rubber, electronics and textile industries, in ceramic glazes and enamels, in glass-making, brick-making and paper-making, as a lubricant additive, in pharmaceuticals and cosmetics, in case-hardening of steel and in the oil and gas industry as a wetting agent for drilling mud.
Barium in water comes primarily from natural sources as it is present as a trace element in both igneous and sedimentary rocks. Barium is generally present in air in particulate form as a result of industrial emissions, particularly from combustion of coal and diesel oil and waste incineration.
(note: excerpt below from Express Scripts)
What side effects may I notice from receiving Barium Sulfate?
Side effects that you should report to your prescriber or health care professional as soon as possible:
•constipation (severe or continuing)
•nausea or vomiting
•stomach or lower abdominal pain
•tightness in chest or troubled breathing
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your prescriber or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):