The molar mass of barium sulfate is 233.4 grams/mole. The inorganic compound’s molecular formula is BaSO4. It is a white, crystalline solid at room temperature and is often used in medical-imaging procedures due to its insolubility in water.
Barium sulfate is commonly used as a contrast medium in X-ray imaging and CT scans. Patients can ingest the compound safely, as its low solubility prevents it from being absorbed into their bodies. The compound instead coats the patient's digestive system and appears opaque and bright white on imaging tests, enabling the doctor to visualize and diagnose any abnormalities. Barium sulfate is also used as a component in oil-well drilling fluid and as white pigment in paint.