Barium nitrate is poisonous. May be fatal if swallowed! A dust mask should be worn at all times when handling it. Mixtures of metal powders and barium nitrate sometimes heat up spontaneously and may ignite, especially when moist. This can usually be prevented by the addition of small amounts of boric acid (1 to 2%). It is advisable to avoid using water to bind such compositions. Red gum or shellac with alcohol or nitrocellulose lacquer are preferred binder and solvents. Causes irritation to the respiratory tract. Symptoms may include coughing, shortness of breath. Systemic poisoning may occur with symptoms similar to those of ingestion. If ingested it may cause tightness of the muscles of the face and neck, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, muscular tremors, anxiety, weakness, labored breathing, cardiac irregularity, convulsions, and death from cardiac and respiratory failure. Estimated lethal dose lies between 1 to 15 grams. Death may occur within hours or up to a few days. May cause kidney damage. Causes irritation to the skin. Symptoms include redness, itching, and pain. If it comes into contact with eyes it causes irritation, redness, and pain.