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.
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
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).