Selenium Compounds (as Se)
- Synonyms: Elemental selenium; Selenium alloy; Selenium sulfide
- OSHA IMIS Code Number: 2230
- Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) Registry Number: 7782-49-2; 7446-34-6 (Selenium sulfide)
- NIOSH Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances (RTECS) Identification Number: VS7700000
- Department of Transportation Regulation Number (49 CFR 172.101) and Emergency Response Guidebook: 2658 152 (powder)
- NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards, Selenium: chemical description, physical properties, potentially hazardous incompatibilities, and more
- OSHA Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL):
- American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) Threshold Limit Value (TLV): 0.2 mg/m3 TWA
- National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Recommended Exposure Limit (REL): 0.2 mg/m3 TWA; This REL does not apply to Selenium hexafluoride
- Carcinogenic Classification:
- International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC): Group 3, not classifiable as to its carcinogenicity to humans (Selenium and Selenium Compounds)
- National Toxicology Program (NTP): Group 2, Reasonably Anticipated to be Human Carcinogen (Selenium Sulfide) (PDF)
- NIOSH Immediately Dangerous To Life or Health Concentration (IDLH): 1 mg/m3 (as Se)
- Potential Symptoms: Irritation of eyes, skin, nose, throat; visual disturbance; headache; chills, fever, weakness; cough, nosebleeds; dyspnea, bronchial spasms; bronchitis; pulmonary edema; metallic taste, garlic breath; GI disturbance; dermatitis; eye, skin burns; lowered hemoglobin levels; tachycardia; tremors; Chronic ingestion: Discoloration of skin, teeth (yellowish); thickened and brittle nails; nail and hair loss; excessive tooth decay; garlic odor of breath and urine; lack of mental alertness; mood changes (depression, listlessness, irritability).
- Health Effects: Irritation-Eye, Nose, Throat, Skin---Moderate (HE15) Cumulative systemic toxicity (HE3)
- Affected Organs: Eyes, skin, respiratory system, liver, kidneys, blood, spleen
- Selenium sulfide is an OSHA Select carcinogen.
- Selenium is an essential trace element found in the naturally occurring amino acids, selenocysteine and selenomethionine, and is associated with selenoproteins such as glutathione peroxidase and iodothyronine 5-deiodinase. Its recommended daily allowance is 0.055 mg/day.
- It has been suggested that the major urinary metabolite of selenium normally is 1ß-methylseleno-N-acetyl-D-galactosamine but during exposure to high toxic levels, trimethylselenonium ion is also found in urine and dimethylselenide is expired in the breath.
- An organoselenium compound, ebselen, is under investigation as a potential neuroprotectant drug.
- Literature Basis:
- NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards: Selenium.
- International Chemical Safety Cards (WHO/IPCS/ILO): Selenium.
- EPA Air Toxics Website: Selenium Compounds. US Environmental Protection Agency Technology Transfer Network.
- Goldhaber, S.B.: Trace element risk assessment: essentiality vs. toxicity. Regul. Toxicol. Pharmacol. 38(2): 232-242, 2003.
- Kobayashi, Y., Ogra, Y., Ishiwata, K., Takayama, H., Aimi, N. and Suzuki, K.T.: Selenosugars are key and urinary metabolites for selenium excretion within the required to low-toxic range. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 99(25): 15932-15936, 2002.
- Parnham, M. and Sies, H.: Ebselen: prospective therapy for cerebral ischaemia. Expert Opin. Investig. Drugs 9(3): 607-619, 2000.
- Pohanish, R.P. (editor): Selenium. In, Sittig's Handbook of Toxic and Hazardous Chemicals and Carcinogens, Fourth Ed., Vol. 2. Norwich, NY: Noyes Publications, William Andrew Publishing, 2002, pp. 2016-2018.
- Vinceti, M., Wei, E.T., Malagoli, C., Bergomi, M. and Vivoli, G.: Adverse health effects of selenium in humans. Rev. Environ. Health 16(4): 233-251, 2001.
- Date Last Revised: 08/06/2004
Monitoring Methods used by OSHA
Primary Laboratory Sampling/Analytical Method (SLC1):
- Mixed Cellulose Ester Filter (MCEF) 0.8 microns
- maximum volume: 960 Liters
- maximum volume: 480 Liters
- maximum flow rate: 2.0 L/min
- current analytical method: Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy; AAS
- method reference: OSHA Analytical Method (OSHA ID-121)
- method classification: Validated
- note: Submit as a separate sample. If the filter is not overloaded, samples may be collected up to an 8-hour period.
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