Standard Active Last Updated: Jun 21, 2017
ASTM D3986-17

Standard Test Method for Barium in Brines, Seawater, and Brackish Water by Direct-Current Argon Plasma Atomic Emission Spectroscopy

Significance and Use

5.1 All waters containing acid soluble barium compounds are known to be toxic. This test method is useful for the determination of barium in brines, seawater, and brackish waters.

5.2 Consumption, inhalation, or absorption of 500 to 600 mg of barium is considered fatal to human beings. Lower levels may result in disorders of the heart, blood vessels, and nerves. The drinking water standards set the maximum contaminant level for barium as 2 mg/L barium.


1.1 This test method covers the determination of dissolved and total recoverable barium in brines, seawater, and brackish waters by direct-current argon plasma atomic emission spectroscopy (DCP–AES).

1.2 This test method has been tested in the range from 10 mg/L to 20 mg/L. Samples shall be diluted to contain concentrations within the calibration range (see 11.1 and 12.5). Higher concentrations can also be determined by changing to a less sensitive emission line.

1.3 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as standard. No other units of measurement are included in this standard.

1.4 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

1.5 This international standard was developed in accordance with internationally recognized principles on standardization established in the Decision on Principles for the Development of International Standards, Guides and Recommendations issued by the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee.

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Book of Standards Volume: 11.02
Developed by Subcommittee: D19.05
Pages: 5
DOI: 10.1520/D3986-17
ICS Code: 13.060.50