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• Selenium (Sodium selenite)
• Selenium (Sodium selenite)
• Selenium (Sodium selenite)
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ACUTE EXPOSURE INFORMATION

  1. Sodium selenite is a nonflammable, water-soluble selenium salt used as an alkaloidal chemical reagent, a reagent in bacteriology, for removing green color during glass manufacture, in decorating porcelain, as a livestock feed additive, and for testing seed germination.
    1. Sodium selenite is a colorless to white tetragonal, prismatic crystalline solid material.
  1. Elemental selenium has a relatively low order of toxicity; indeed, selenium is an ESSENTIAL TRACE METAL, and CHRONIC DEFICIENCY can lead to fatal cardiomyopathies. Industrial workers exposed for up to 26 years had a normal death pattern. All selenium salts can produce toxicity by ingestion, inhalation, and percutaneous absorption, although specific information on dermal absorption of sodium selenite was not found.
  1. Chronic selenium poisoning resembles chronic arsenic poisoning. Nausea, vomiting, white streaks of the nails, pallor, upper respiratory irritation, paronychiae, loss of hair, skin rashes, irritability, fatigue, hyperreflexia, a garlic odor on the breath, and a metallic taste in the mouth may be noted with chronic selenium exposure.
    1. Screening laboratory values such as complete blood counts and liver and renal function tests are usually within normal limits. Liver and renal lesions have been seen in experimental animals.
  1. Acute poisonings with selenium metal and its salts are rare. SELENITE toxicity may include facial flushing, a lightheaded sensation, and muscle tenderness and tremors.
    1. Inhalation of selenium dusts can cause headache, cough, nasal discharge, upper respiratory tract irritation, epistaxis, and olfactory fatigue. Transient dyspnea has been seen.
    1. Severe eye irritation may be seen with selenium dust exposure.
  1. While chronic occupational selenium exposure has not been reported to result in disabling disease, paralysis and hemiplegia were noted in an endemic outbreak of dietary hyperselenosis in China.
  1. Anemia and marked hepatic necrosis, hemorrhage, and cirrhosis were found in experimental animals fed 5 to 15 ppm of selenium chronically in the diet. These effects have not been reported in exposed humans.
  1. Sodium selenite releases toxic and irritating fumes of selenium and sodium oxide when heated to decomposition.
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