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Barium Bromide is an ionic compound of the element barium and the halogen, bromine. Its chemical formula is BaBr2. It is white and deliquescent in its crystalline form. Its three-dimensional lattice structure is orthorhombic. The atoms of barium and bromine are bonded covalently in the compound due to their shared ionic valency.
The compound is toxic if swallowed. It can cause severe poisoning, blocking the inflow of intracellular potassium, causing a transfer of potassium from extracellular to intracellular compartment. This leads to a reduction in the resting membrane potential, which can unexcite muscle fibers and lead to paralysis. It can also be fatal if inhaled. Barium bromide irritates the eyes and skin. Inhaling it can lead to respiratory tract irritation and asphyxiation. It can also cause kidney, spleen and liver damage.
Its main use is in the manufacture of photographic film and other chemicals. It is also used as a flux for casting aluminium and in the production of other barium compounds. Its toxicity also makes it useful as a tracer in nuclear and medical imaging. Barium is also used as a getter, or unwanted gas remover, for vacuum tubes and as an additive in cast iron and steel. It is also alloyed with silicon and aluminum in load-bearing alloys. It can be found in nature as the mineral barite, but it is usually mined for its commercial uses. The metal is a soft, silvery-white metal that is very reactive.