Barium

Maximum Contaminant Level

US EPA:

MCL – 2.0 mg/L or ppm

MCLG – 2.0 mg/L

WHO Guideline – 0.7 mg/L

Barium is a metal that can be found in naturally occurring mineral deposits. It can also be released into the water and soil by the discharge and disposal of drilling wastes, copper smelting, and the manufacture of motor vehicle parts and accessories. The health effects of barium can vary depending on the solubility of the compound. Barium compounds that do not dissolve well in water are not considered to be harmful to humans. However, barium compounds that are able to dissolve into the water more easily may be harmful. High levels of soluble barium compounds can cause difficulties breathing, increased blood pressure, changes in heart rhythm, stomach irritation, brain swelling, muscle weakness, and damage to the liver, heart, kidney and spleen.

Treatments for barium include:

  • Cation Exchange
  • Reverse Osmosis
  • Distillation