ATSDR - Toxic Substances - Selenium
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Selenium

CAS ID #: 7782-49-2

Affected Organ Systems: Dermal (Skin), Developmental (effects during periods when organs are developing) , Reproductive (Producing Children)

Cancer Classification: NTP: Reasonably Anticipated to be a Human Carcinogen

Chemical Classification: Inorganic substances

Summary: Selenium is a naturally occurring mineral element that is distributed widely in nature in most rocks and soils. In its pure form, it exists as metallic gray to black hexagonal crystals, but in nature it is usually combined with sulfide or with silver, copper, lead, and nickel minerals. Most processed selenium is used in the electronics industry, but it is also used: as a nutritional supplement; in the glass industry; as a component of pigments in plastics, paints, enamels, inks, and rubber; in the preparation of pharmaceuticals; as a nutritional feed additive for poultry and livestock; in pesticide formulations; in rubber production; as an ingredient in antidandruff shampoos; and as a constituent of fungicides. Radioactive selenium is used in diagnostic medicine.

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