Tag Archives: chemistry

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?


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


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