A fatal case-report of barium chloride toxicity

Caroline S Copeland, Kirsten L Rock, Andreia Pinhal, Robert C Chapman, Robert P Chilcott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Barium is an alkaline earth metal whose toxicity is dictated by its compounded salt form: barium sulphate is insoluble and safe to ingest, but other barium salts (chloride, carbonate, sulphide, oxide, acetate) are bioavailable and therefore toxic when ingested. There have been 49 previous reports of fatal intoxications following barium consumption: 38 deemed accidental in nature, 8 suicidal, 1 homicidal and 2 of undetermined intent. In this report we detail the first intentional fatal self-poisoning with barium chloride to be reported in the UK, along with a review of the surrounding literature. This is the first case to report quantified levels of barium in blood and vitreous humour, and by providing details of sample collection, storage and processing this case will aid in future interpretations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e33-e41
JournalJournal of Analytical Toxicology
Issue number2
Early online date14 Dec 2022
Publication statusPublished - 30 Mar 2023


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