Cardiotoxic and Bronchoconstrictor Effects of Industrial Metal Fumes Containing Barium

  • R. Hicks
  • L. Q. A. de Caldas
  • P. R. M. Dare
  • P. J. Hewitt
Part of the Archives of Toxicology book series (TOXICOLOGY, volume 9)

Abstract

For certain metal arc-welding and other metal processing operations, compounds of barium are used as flux components. Airborne fumes generated by welding with electrodes using barium fluoride or carbonate fluxes may contain 15–30% of barium in readily water-soluble form (Dare et al. 1984). Urine of welders inhaling such fumes was shown to contain elevated levels of barium ions (up to 234 µg/1). To assess the possible hazards of such exposure, the toxic potencies of fume samples, expressed in terms of their water-soluble barium ion contents, were compared with effects of solutions of barium salts in anaesthetised guinea-pigs. Dose-effect relationships were established and it was verified that acute toxic effects of inhaled aerosols or of intravenous bolus administration correlated with the barium contents of various forms of welding fumes. Bronchopulmonary reactivity to the barium was observed as marked increases in resistance to ventilatory air-flow, indicating bronchoconstriction. Simultaneously, marked pressor effects on blood pressure occurred. ECG abnormalities indicated myocardial hyperexcitability. Effects were modified by nifedipine and propranolol pretreatments.

Key words

Cardiotoxicity Bronchoconstriction Barium Metal Fumes 

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References

  1. Dare PRM, Hewitt Pi, Hicks R, Bemst A Van, Zober A, Fleischer M (1984) Barium in welding fume. Ann Occup Hyg 28: 445–448PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Hicks
    • 1
  • L. Q. A. de Caldas
    • 1
  • P. R. M. Dare
    • 1
  • P. J. Hewitt
    • 1
  1. 1.Schools of Studies in Pharmacology and in Environmental SciencesUniversity of BradfordBradford, West YorkshireUK

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