Barium in tap water

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States Affected
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People Affected
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Toxicity Rating
Health Effects

Gastrointestinal issues and muscle weakness, increased risk of high blood pressure (hypertension), cardiovascular disease, as well as possible kidney, liver, and heart damage.

The legal limit is
Health Guideline
700 ppb
what is considered unhealthy
Legal Limit
2,000 ppb
What is barium?
Barium is a metal found naturally in mineral deposits and used for drilling and manufacturing. It assists in the creation of fireworks, dyes, ceramics, glass, and more. While barium can be absorbed and inhaled, the greatest potential source of it comes from ingestion of contaminated food and drinking water.
How does barium get into drinking water?
Barium typically makes its way into our water supplies through Industrial runoff. In other words, it’s discharged into soil and water by metal refineries, drilling operations, and other manufacturing processes. Since it is also found naturally in mineral deposits, it can seep into water sources as deposits erode.
Is barium in water harmful? What does barium do to the human body?
Short-term exposure to barium is linked to gastrointestinal issues and muscle weakness. Long-term elevated exposure can be linked to more severe health concerns including an increased risk of high blood pressure (hypertension) and cardiovascular disease as well as possible kidney, liver, and heart damage.
What does barium taste like?
Barium is associated with a chalky or bitter taste, as well as a fishy odor.
How much barium is safe?
The U.S. EPA set a Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) of 2.0 mg/L, or 2000 parts-per-billion (ppb), for barium. Water is sampled quarterly to form an annual average. Therefore, barium can exceed the MCL at any given time. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) recommends a guideline of 700 ppb to protect against harm to the kidneys and cardiovascular system. The U.S. EPA allows 65% more barium in water than EWG recommends.
What can I do about barium in my tap water?
Clearly Filtered’s Affinity® Filtration Technology removes up to 99.9% of barium from your tap water. Upgrade to our superior water filters so you never have to worry about barium lurking in your water again. Remember, boiling water does not remove barium.
How does Clearly Filtered do at Removing Barium in tap water?
Clearly Filtered with
Affinity Filtration Technology Product
Water Pitcher Filter
Under-the-Sink FIlter
Water Bottle Filter
Refrigerator Filter
Barium in tap water Removal

1. U.S. EPA. National Primary Drinking Water Regulations. Accessed April 1, 2021.

2. EWG Tap Water Database. Barium. Accessed April 1, 2021.

3. Public Health Service Agency for Toxic Substances and Diseases Registry. Barium Public Health Statement. April 1, 2021.

4. Business Insider. 8 Signs Your Tap Water Might Be Dangerous To Drink. Accessed April 1, 2021.