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ACUTE EXPOSURE INFORMATION
- USES: Barium nitrate is a soluble barium salt used in the manufacture of pyrotechnics (fireworks) and barium peroxide, for green signal lights and neon lights, and in the vacuum-tube industry. It is also used in ceramic glazes, incendiaries, electronics, tracer bullets, primers and detonators; it was formerly used in some rodenticides.
- TOXICOLOGY: Rapid onset, severe hypokalemia is caused by sequestration of potassium in skeletal muscle cells, secondary to barium blocking potassium efflux via the sodium-potassium pump in those cells.
- EPIDEMIOLOGY: Poisoning is rare, and most often occurs after deliberate ingestion.
- WITH POISONING/EXPOSURE
- MILD TO MODERATE POISONING: Nausea, vomiting, colicky abdominal pain, and diarrhea.
- SEVERE POISONING: Profound hypokalemia, severe muscle weakness/paralysis including diaphragmatic muscles leading to hypoventilation, hypertension, and ventricular dysrhythmias/fibrillation.
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