Barium

Formula: Ba; CAS Registry Number: 7440-39-3

Alkaline earth metal which occurs naturally in rocks and minerals

Its compounds are used e.g. in gas- and oil industry, in metal-, glass-, ceramics-, and paint industry, in paper- and rubber- production as well as in chemical and electronics industry and pyrotechnics.

Owing to its high density, baryt (BaSO4) is suitable for radiation shielding and used as radio contrast agent for X-ray imaging. The pure metal serves as getter material in vacuum valves.

Emissions result from weathering of rocks and minerals and anthropogenic activities. Barium is rather immobile in the environment due to the formation of water-insoluble salts. Soluble barium compounds are toxic to aquatic organisms. Terrestrial and marine plants and marine animals can accumulate barium (bioaccumulation).

Endocrine disrupting effects have been demonstrated for barium chloride in laboratory tests.

Specimen

  • Common brown alga of the coastal areas of the North and Baltic Sea
  • A major primary producer in semi-natural and anthropogenic affected ecosystems.
  • A major primary producer in semi-natural and anthropogenic affected ecosystems.
  • A deciduous tree typical of ecosystems close to dense conurbations and an indicator for the characterisation of the immission situation during the vegetation period.
  • As the most dominant deciduous tree species in Central Europe, it plays a significant role in most nearly natural and also anthropogenically influenced forest ecosystems up to an altitude of 1100 m.

Sampling area

Sampling period

1985 - 2019