Barium carbonate (BaCO3), also known as witherite, is a chemical compound used in rat poison, bricks, ceramic glazes and cement. Barium carbonate is widely used in the ceramics industry as an ingredient in glazes. It acts as a flux, a matting and crystallizing agent and combines with certain coloring oxides to produce unique colors not easily attainable by other means. Its use is somewhat controversial since some claim that it can leach from glazes into food and drink. To provide a safe means of use, BaO is often used in fritted form.
In the brick, tile, earthenware and pottery industries barium carbonate is added to clays to precipitate soluble salts that cause efflorescence.
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