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 bladder wrack Common brown alga of the coastal areas of the North and Baltic Sea
Common spruce A major primary producer in semi-natural and anthropogenic affected ecosystems.
Pine A major primary producer in semi-natural and anthropogenic affected ecosystems.
Lombardy poplar A deciduous tree typical of ecosystems close to dense conurbations and an indicator for the characterisation of the immission situation during the vegetation period.
Beech 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

BR/NP Berchtesgaden The only high mountains national park in Germany and an area of the Limestone Alps with international relevance
Saarländischer Verdichtungsraum Important, old-industrialised conurbation in Germany.
Bornhöveder Seengebiet Main water divide between the North- and Baltic Sea
NP Bayerischer Wald Germany's first national park
NP Vorpommersche Boddenlandschaft National Park in the largest brackish water (Bodden) habitat of the world.
BR/NP Wattenmeere National park in the world largest connected sand and mud flats.
Verdichtungsraum Halle-Leipzig Region in the chemical triangle of Central Germany
NP Harz Germany's largest forest national park
Solling Second highest and largest low mountain range in Northern Germany
BR Pfälzerwald Germany's largest connected forest area in a range of low mountains
Oberbayerisches Tertiärhügelland The Upper Bavarian Tertiary Uplands are a part of the Southern German Molasse Basin

Sampling period

1985 - 2019