Toxic Metal: The Health Dangers of Barium

Barium is a natural, silvery-white earth metal. Highly reactive with air, barium is not found naturally in pure forms but as a component of ores. When barium is combined with other elements to form barium compounds, it has many applications. Barium carbonate is used as a rat poison, low amounts of barium sulfate may be ingested prior to receiving an x-ray to provide better imaging, and industries such as mining, refining, glass, and coal also utilize barium. Barium exposure, however, can cause serious health problems.

Sources of Barium Exposure

Barium exposure can happen through a number of channels including occupational exposure, groundwater contamination, environmental pollution, cigarette smoke, and even certain medical procedures. In my opinion, industrial use is perhaps of the largest concern due to the potential for massive environmental pollution.

One such example is large, flat-panel televisions. They have become very popular and celebrity-fascination coupled with ever-dropping price


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