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Dangers of soluble Barium salts


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#1 Richard H

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Posted 21 June 2003 - 12:07 PM

While researching into the matter, I came across this. It emphisises how dangerous it is when handling these salts.

Always wear gloves, eye protection, and a cartridge respirator when handling barium salts

"The soluble salts of barium, an alkaline earth metal, are toxic in mammalian systems. They are absorbed rapidly from the gastrointestinal tract and are deposited in the muscles, lungs, and bone. Barium is excreted primarily in the feces.

At low doses, barium acts as a muscle stimulant and at higher doses affects the nervous system eventually leading to paralysis. Acute and subchronic oral doses of barium cause vomiting and diarrhea, followed by decreased heart rate and elevated blood pressure. Higher doses result in cardiac irregularities, weakness, tremors, anxiety, and dyspnea. A drop in serum potassium may account for some of the symptoms. Death can occur from cardiac and respiratory failure. Acute doses around 0.8 grams can be fatal to humans.

The soluble forms of barium salts are rapidly absorbed into the blood from the intestinal tract. The rates of absorption of a number of barium salts have been measured in rats following oral exposure to small quantities (30 mg/kg body weight). The relative absorption rates were found to be: barium chloride barium sulfate barium carbonate. Large doses of barium sulfate do not increase the uptake of this salt because of its low solubility (McCauley and Washington 1983, EPA 1984).

Barium absorbed into the bloodstream disappears in about 24 hours; however, it is deposited in the muscles, lungs, and bone. Very little is stored in the kidneys, liver, spleen, brain, heart, or hair. It remains in the muscles about 30 hours after which the concentration decreases slowly. The deposition of barium into bone is similar to calcium but occurs at a faster rate (Beliles 1994). The half life of barium in bone is estimated to be about 50 days (Machata 1988).

Barium absorbed into the bloodstream disappears in about 24 hours; however, it is deposited in the muscles, lungs, and bone. Very little is stored in the kidneys, liver, spleen, brain, heart, or hair. It remains in the muscles about 30 hours after which the concentration decreases slowly. The deposition of barium into bone is similar to calcium but occurs at a faster rate (Beliles 1994). The half life of barium in bone is estimated to be about 50 days (Machata 1988).

About 54% of the barium dose is protein bound. Barium is known to activate the secretion of catecholamines from the adrenal medulla without prior calcium deprivation. It may displace calcium from the cell membranes, thereby increasing permeability and providing stimulation to muscles. Eventual paralysis of the central nervous system can occur (Beliles 1994).

A tracer study in rats using 140Ba demonstrated that 7% and 20% of the barium dose was excreted in 24 hours in the urine and feces, respectively. In contrast, calcium is primarily excreted in the urine. The clearance of barium is enhanced with saline infusion (Beliles 1994). Following intravenous injection of barium into six healthy men, excretion was mainly fecal with the total relative fecal:urinary clearance for 14 days ranging from 6 to 15 (Newton et al. 1991).

A number of accidental barium poisonings have occurred following the ingestion of barium salts. The estimated fatal dose of barium carbonate, a rodenticide, is about 5 grams for a 70 kg human (Arena 1979). The LD50 for barium chloride is estimated at about 1 gram for a 70 kg human (Machata 1988), and the LDLo (lowest published lethal dose) is reported to be about 0.8 grams (Lewis and Sweet 1984). The acute symptoms include excess salivation, vomiting, diarrhea, increased blood pressure, muscular tremors, weakness, paresis, anxiety, dyspnea, and cardiac irregularities. A severe loss of potassium can account for some of the symptoms. Convulsions and death from cardiac and respiratory failure can occur. Magnesium and sodium sulfate are antidotal if taken soon after ingestion since either salt will result in the formation of insoluble barium sulfate and prevent further absorption. Survival for more than 24 hours is usually followed by complete recovery (Arena 1979).

A family was accidentally poisoned with barium from eating their evening meal. The mother had fried fish breaded with a flour-like substance that turned out to be rat poison containing barium carbonate. All seven family members, aged 2 to 48 years, developed nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and crampy abdominal pain within minutes of consuming the meal; the parents also developed ventricular tachycardia, flaccid paralysis of the extremities, shortness of breath (mother), and respiratory failure (father). Patients were treated symptomatically and all fully recovered (Johnson and VanTassell 1991)."

Complete article can be read here

#2 bernie

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Posted 21 June 2003 - 05:00 PM

don't eat barium. Actually I(we) are very appreciative of any relavent information. Thankyou you for taking the time to post it.
Common sense reigns supreme in this hobby. The miniscule amounts of barium carbonate that could be ingested by a hobbyist are darn near insignificant. Gloves and an appropiate face mask should be enough of a reminder to not eat toxic chemicals. I would hope.
I will certainly look twice at the next batch of fish that Blondie cooks up.;)

#3 BigG

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Posted 21 June 2003 - 08:05 PM

Excellent post. Mandatory reading.

BigG

#4 chrissw

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Posted 17 July 2003 - 08:36 PM

Sodium chlorate is also poisonous.

In fact, it's a jolly good idea to treat all our favourite chemicals with respect from the biological hazard viewpoint as well as the pyro hazards which we are all familiar with.

Common-sense handling precautions should always be observed when using chemicals for pyro just as you would if mixing up some weedkiller for your garden or using paint-stripper when decorating the kitchen!

#5 Terminator

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Posted 11 December 2003 - 07:10 PM

Good point Chris.

It's always worth remembering that even what appear to be "friendly" chemicals such as pure copper and zinc powders etc. can be toxic if accumulated in the body over time.

Even aluminium is implicated (Alziemers) - and carbon (contained in powdered charcoal) when inhaled can cause lung cancer or chronic bronchitis / emphsema. Sulphur has the latter effects as well.

Therefore, even seamingly innocent chemicals should be treated with care when in powdered form due to the risk of inhalation / accidental ingestion of dust.

Known toxic compounds / heavy metals should always be treated with care.

Remember: - The discomfort of wearing a mask is much less than the discomfort of acute or chronic poisoning.

Impressive article Richard.

Al.

#6 PanMaster

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Posted 11 December 2003 - 07:27 PM

I can't recommend eating charcoal enough, it helps to filter out poisonous chemicals and improve bowels, maybe with a bit of sulphur to sweeten it up. Seriously these are the only truly safe chemicals that can be ingested.
Where are the matches?

#7 lord_dranack

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Posted 11 December 2003 - 07:50 PM

"The toxic dose of potassium chlorate has been placed at approximately 5g, but death has resulted from the ingestion of smaller amounts" (The Pharmacological basis of Therapeutics, 1970)

Be careful! It turns out even boric acid, sold at chemists, is dangerous:

"The lethal dose [of boric acid] has been estimated to be 15 to 20g in adults... coitinued application of boric acid to extencive areas may lead to cumulation of the compound and ultimate toxic effects" (The Pharmacological basis of Therapeutics, 1970)

#8 Terminator

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Posted 12 December 2003 - 12:14 AM

Panmaster,

Agreed, eating activated charcoal can be a life saver if you have ingested a poison.

Ordinary charcoal if swallowed is harmless but not too tasty - I prefer sandwiches.

However, neither charcoal (carbon) or sulphur are good in the lungs though. Effects as stated!

PS on the subject of food, never a good idea to eat or drink when in the lab / shed. Dusts can contaminate foods / drinks. Far better practice to take a break, clean up, eat and then return.

Edited by Terminator, 12 December 2003 - 12:23 AM.


#9 PyroKid

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Posted 15 January 2005 - 05:13 PM

There is a reason why they put coloring into bottled meths.
Its a colourless substance, just like water in appearance, and easily drinkable if left on the side in an un-labled bottle, and therefore the manufactures put coloring into it to make sure that people do not mistake it for water.

The same principle goes for cooking gas.

This is naturally an odourless gas, but by law they have to add an odour to make its presence known.
Who said there wasnt fireworks between us?

#10 alany

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Posted 16 January 2005 - 12:02 PM

Aparently a bit of Black Powder is good for you.

If you want to get rid of that annoying morning erection, and probably any chance of having another for a day or two...

#11 Guest_Daniel Scott_*

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Posted 17 January 2005 - 09:20 AM

After a day in the lab rolling stars, milling comps and making black match and having an almost aboriginal appearance from black powder, it doesn't nothing for erections.

#12 BigG

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Posted 17 January 2005 - 09:48 AM

Cut it out guys. This is a serioues thread about real dengers. Joke thread is somewhere else.

#13 Old1953

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Posted 14 March 2005 - 08:20 PM

"The toxic dose of potassium chlorate has been placed at approximately 5g, but death has resulted from the ingestion of smaller amounts" (The Pharmacological basis of Therapeutics, 1970)

Be careful! It turns out even boric acid, sold at chemists, is dangerous:

"The lethal dose [of boric acid] has been estimated to be 15 to 20g in adults... coitinued application of boric acid to extencive areas may lead to cumulation of the compound and ultimate toxic effects" (The Pharmacological basis of Therapeutics, 1970)

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Not to be promoting unsafe practices, but LD50 for table salt isn't a very big dose either.

http://www.natbat.com/docs/boron.htm


http://www.cdc.gov/n...s/ed4601e0.html


http://www.cdc.gov/n...s/vz481908.html


The main thing is, don't put the stuff in your mouth. Don't eat where you are mixing comps. Clean up spills and dispose of safely.

#14 Richard H

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Posted 14 March 2005 - 08:24 PM

It's all down to basic lab rules really. Precautions such as a respirator and gloves should of course be standard procedure.

#15 Pretty green flames

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Posted 15 March 2005 - 07:46 AM

The toxic dose of potassium chlorate has been placed at approximately 5g, but death has resulted from the ingestion of smaller amounts" (The Pharmacological basis of Therapeutics, 1970)



Now this is something new.

Try looking here.

http://www.jtbaker.c...hhtml/P5620.htm
Estimated lethal dose is 15-30grams




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