The compounds of barium resemble those of calcium but are poisonous. They are used in the manufacture of paints, glass, rodent poison, and fireworks, and as drying agents. Barium sulfate is swallowed to allow X-ray examination of the stomach and intestines because barium atoms are opaque to X-rays; this is called a "barium meal." The most common isotope is barium-138 (71.66 percent).
Related entry barium star
Related category INORGANIC CHEMISTRY
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