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Author: Subject: Selenium toxicity
LanthanumK
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[*] posted on 4-6-2012 at 13:26
Selenium toxicity


I burned a small bead of selenium, releasing some whitish selenium dioxide smoke. I also heated the same bead to boiling. I know this released a significant amount of Se vapor. I smelled a garlicky smell in the air but did not breathe much in. How toxic is selenium and its compounds?



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CHRIS25
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[*] posted on 4-6-2012 at 15:07


Hi, I looked at your blog. It seems you are quite knowledgeable and intelligent, However I was surprised by your question. I copied and pasted your statement into Google search -:How toxic is selenium and its compounds:- and got a wealth of information.....



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[*] posted on 5-6-2012 at 00:21


Much of the information on internet is scary, but a lot of it (not all though) is fed by chemophopia or is about industrial quantities and full day exposure times, so read the information with a grain of salt. In practice there are very few compounds which are so dangerous that a single whiff will lead to serious health issues. Selenium is quite toxic, but if you just smelled a few whiffs then I would not panic about it.

But, next time, assure that you do not breathe any selenium or compounds of this. Selenium can build up in your body and is released slowly, so if you breathe selenium frequently, then you may experience health issues in the long run.

If you do experiments with selenium or its compounds in which vapors or gases can escape into the air, then do those experiments on a breezy day, outside, or do them in a good fume hood. Assure that people around you (neighbours!) cannot inhale the vapors from your experiments.




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[*] posted on 5-6-2012 at 06:24


Inorganic selenium compounds are more toxic than organic. But if you don't have a problem, you should be fine.



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LanthanumK
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[*] posted on 5-6-2012 at 14:26


Quote: Originally posted by CHRIS25  
Hi, I looked at your blog. It seems you are quite knowledgeable and intelligent, However I was surprised by your question. I copied and pasted your statement into Google search -:How toxic is selenium and its compounds:- and got a wealth of information.....


Yes I did the same search, specifically checking the MSDS for selenium dioxide. However, I did not see specific information for my case so I decided to ask someone who has experience working with selenium.




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