Used in fireworks, signal flares, and tracer bullets (red); [Merck Index] Used as an alloy and in electron tubes; [Hawley] "Strontium compounds, such as strontium carbonate, are used in making ceramics and glass products, pyrotechnics, paint pigments, fluorescent lights, medicines, and other products." [ATSDR PHS] Strontium metal is used in aluminum castings, and strontium carbonate is used as getters in zinc production; [Reference #2]
There are about 140 mg of strontium in the body of an average human male; Daily intake is about 2 mg with about 60-90% obtained from food and the remaining from water; [HSDB] Natural strontium is not radioactive and not harmful by skin contact or inhalation. Animal studies show that high oral doses of strontium can weaken bones, especially in growing animals with diets deficient in calcium. Strontium-90 is formed in nuclear reactors and in explosions of nuclear bombs. Strontium-90 gives off beta particles with a half-life of 29 years. It has some medical applications, but is mainly considered a waste product. Strontium-90 is taken up by the bone where it emits beta radiation. It can cause bone marrow suppression and cancer. [ATSDR PHS] Median strontium levels (personal air sampling) in six art glass factories in Italy were 0.5 ug/m3 for oven chargers and batch mixers and 0.1 ug/m3 for art glass makers and formers. [Reference #2] See "Strontium-90."