Countdown to Christmas Quiz: Question 6 – Friday 6th December

Another chemistry question! What is the name of the dry, white, chalky chemical that is used in assessment because of how it reacts to  X-rays?

Barium!

The words barium, isobar, and baritone all come from the same Greek word, barus (βαρύς), which means “heavy.” When mixed to form barium sulfate, the chemical “heaviness” comes in very useful because you can drink it and let it coat your innards, but X-rays cannot pass through the barium. So you get to see diseased and damaged areas. And more good news – barium doesn’t dissolve in water so it cannot get into the blood stream. Therefore it works its way through the body and gets flushed out harmlessly.

barium sulfate

Barium sulfate

Links

All about Barium from the Chemistry Explained site.
Videofluoroscopy information from ASHA.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s