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Industrial Hygiene Testing Services

Category Press Release
Publish Date 6/4/2021
Author Paul Cochrane
Title Identifying Occupational and Environmental Exposures to Barium and Barium Compounds
Introduction EMSL Analytical provides industrial hygiene and environmental testing services, sampling supplies, and personal protective equipment (PPE) to identify exposure hazards.

Cinnaminson, NJ, June 4th, 2021

Barium is a chemical element that is described by the Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry (ATSDR) as a silvery-white metal that exists in nature only in ores containing mixtures of elements. It combines with other chemicals such as sulfur or carbon and oxygen to form barium compounds. Barium compounds are used by the oil and gas industries to make drilling muds and are also used to make paint, bricks, ceramics, glass, and rubber.

Potential routes of exposure listed by the ATSDR include:

  • Inhalation – Generally limited to occupational exposure
  • Oral – Primary route of exposure for the general population (some foods, such as Brazil nuts, seaweed, fish, and certain plants, may contain high amounts of barium).
  • Dermal – Minor route of exposure


Ways people could be exposed to barium include:

  • Ingesting small amounts present in food and water or inhaling air containing very low levels of barium
  • Living in areas with unusually high natural levels of barium in the drinking water
  • Working in a job that involves barium production or use
  • Living or working near waste sites where barium has been disposed of


“EMSL tests for a variety of contaminants across our network of laboratories throughout the United States and Canada,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President, Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “With regards to barium, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has set Permissible Exposure Limits (PELs) for barium compounds and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has set Recommended Exposure Limits (RELs). The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has even set a limit for barium in drinking water. To detect barium, barium compounds, and other substances, EMSL offers industrial hygiene, environmental, and material testing services.”

EMSL has also sponsored an educational video about barium and potential exposure risks that can be seen at: https://youtu.be/cluemoIaVPQ.

To learn more about this or other industrial hygiene, air quality, environmental, health, and safety testing services, sampling supplies, and products, please visit www.EMSL.com, call (800) 220-3675, or email info@EMSL.com.


About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is one of the leading testing laboratories throughout the United States and Canada. EMSL is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider specializing in fast laboratory results for mold, bacteria, Legionella, USP <797>, pathogens, asbestos, lead, soot, char & ash from fires, VOC’s, odors, radon, formaldehyde, indoor air quality, microbiology, environmental, industrial hygiene, radiological, food, beverage & consumer products, and material testing services for the identification of unknown substances. EMSL services both professionals and the general public. EMSL maintains an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies including, but not limited to A2LA, AIHA-LAP, LLC (AIHA-LAP, LLC EMLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC IHLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC ELLAP), NVLAP, CDC ELITE, CPSC, CA ELAP, NY ELAP, TX DOH, NJDEP, and multiple other state accrediting agencies. Please visit our website at www.EMSL.com for a complete listing of accreditations. In addition, EMSL carries a wide range of Sampling Equipment and Investigative Products for environmental professionals.

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