What Are The Affects of Drinking It?


Pollution is major cause for concern: due to the high solubility of barium, small particles could be difficult to see and filter out- leaving many barium ions floating around.


(Sherman, n.d.).

Plants and soil all around the water source end up absorbing this excess barium. Contaminated soil cannot grow healthy plant life and may cause the ecosystem to fall out of equilibrium

(“Organic Matter and Barium Absorption by Plant Species Grown in an Area Polluted with Scrap Metal Residue”, 2012).

High level of barium can affect wildlife by causing gastrointestinal distress, paralysis of the muscles, and have cardiovascular effects (Moore, 1991).


The maximum acceptable concentration (the ‘safe’ limit) for barium in drinking water is 1.0 mg/L or 1000 µg/L (“Northwest Territories Drinking Water Quality Database”, 2008).

In high concentrations, barium can cause vasoconstriction (by stimulating arteries into constricting), convulsions and paralysis


(Rao, n.d.).

by affecting the nervous system (Stockinger, 1981)!

Other symptoms of barium exposure could include:

-Heart rhythm changes

– Breathing difficulties

-Muscle weakness (“Toxic Metal: The Health Dangers of Barium”, 2013).


Why Is Barium In Our Water?


(“Barium”, n.d.)

Barium is a  silvery-white metal that usually gets into the water in the form of discharge from drilling waste or metal refineries (“Basic Information about Barium in Drinking Water”, 2013). It is also present in specific types of igneous or sedimentary rocks, and in some types of sand and gravel aquifers (“Barium in manitoba,” 2010). Materialistic items that are common and used on a daily basis could also contain barium ions: items such as paint, bricks, tiles, glass, rubber and certain fluorescent lighting (“Barium-Ba”, 2015).

Barium can either enter the water cycle in the form of discharge from industrial factories or naturally, as a result of erosion of the rocks it’s found in (“Basic Information about Barium in Drinking Water”, 2013).

Once in the water system, barium may either convert to insoluble salts that will precipitate or migrate into the ground water or soil (Patel, 2014). Certain types of barium compounds are more soluble and may end up being absorbed by animals or humans (Choudhury, 2001).