Skip directly to local search Skip directly to A to Z list Skip directly to navigation Skip directly to site content Skip directly to page options
CDC Home
May 1994
Immediately Dangerous to Life or Health Concentrations (IDLH)

Hydrogen selenide (as Se)

CAS number: 7783–07–5

NIOSH REL: 0.05 ppm (0.2 mg/m3) TWA

Current OSHA PEL: 0.05 ppm (0.2 mg/m3) TWA

1989 OSHA PEL: Same as current PEL

1993-1994 ACGIH TLV: 0.05 ppm (0.16 mg/m3) TWA

Description of Substance: Colorless gas with an odor resembling decayed horse radish.

LEL:. . Unknown

Original (SCP) IDLH: 2 ppm

Basis for original (SCP) IDLH: The chosen IDLH is based on the report by Dudley and Miller [1941] that "12.5% of the guinea pigs which had been exposed for 2 hours at 1.8 ppm (0.006 mg/l) died within 30 days of the exposure. A 4-hour exposure to 1.8 ppm was lethal to 18.8% of the guinea pigs exposed, and a 4-hour exposure to 2.1 ppm was lethal to 25% of the animals exposed."

Short-term exposure guidelines: None developed

ACUTE TOXICITY DATA:

Lethal concentration data:

 

SpeciesReferenceLC50

(ppm)

LCLo

(ppm)

TimeAdjusted 0.5-hr

LC (CF)

Derived value
G. pigDudley and Miller 1941 -----0.38 hr0.75 ppm (2.5)0.08 ppm
G. pigDudley and Miller 1941 LC19: 1.8-----4 hr3.6 ppm (2.0)0.36 ppm
G. pigDudley and Miller 1941 LC25: 2.1-----4 hr4.2 ppm (2.0)0.42 ppm
G. pigDudley and Miller 1941 LC13: 1.8-----2 hr2.9 ppm (1.6)0.29 ppm
RatWilber 1980-----5.9 1 hr7.4 ppm (1.25)0.74 ppm

Human data: Although very toxic, no fatalities have been reported, possibly because hydrogen selenide is easily oxidized to red selenium on the surface of mucous membranes of the nose and throat [Friberg et al. 1979]. Concentrations of 1.5 ppm have been found to be intolerable due to eye and nasal irritation [Dudley and Miller 1941].

 

Revised IDLH: 1 ppm

Basis for revised IDLH: The revised IDLH for hydrogen selenide is 1 ppm based on acute inhalation data in humans [Dudley and Miller 1941; Friberg et al. 1979].

REFERENCES:

1. Dudley HC, Miller JW [1941]. Toxicology of selenium. VI. Effects of subacute exposure to hydrogen selenide. J Ind Hyg Toxicol 23(10):470-477.

2. Friberg L, Nordberg GR, Vouk VB [1979]. Handbook on the toxicology of metals. New York, NY: Elsevier North Holland, p. 568.

3. Wilber CG [1980]. Toxicology of selenium: a review. Clin Toxicol 17(2):171-230.

 
Contact Us:
USA.gov: The U.S. Government's Official Web PortalDepartment of Health and Human Services
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention   1600 Clifton Road Atlanta, GA 30329-4027, USA
800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) TTY: (888) 232-6348 - Contact CDC–INFO