Selenium compounds (as Se)

May 1994
Immediately Dangerous to Life or Health Concentrations (IDLH)

CAS number: 7782–49–2 (Elemental)

NIOSH REL: 0.2 mg/m3 TWA

Current OSHA PE:L 0.2 mg/m3 TWA

1989 OSHA PEL: Same as current PEL

1993-1994 ACGIH TLV: 0.2 mg/m3 TWA

Description of substance: Varies

Original (SCP) IDLH*: Unknown [*Note: “Effective” IDLH = 100 mg Se/m3 — see discussion below.]

Basis for original (SCP) IDLH: ACGIH [1971] reported that the LD50 values of soluble selenium compounds (selenite and selenate) for various animals and by different routes of administration ranged from 1.5 to 5 mg/kg [Hall et al. 1951]. However, respirators have been selected based on the assigned protection factor afforded by each device up to 500 ´ the OSHA PEL of 0.2 mg Se/m3 (i.e., 100 mg Se/m3); only the “most protective” respirators are permitted for use in concentrations exceeding 100 mg Se/m3.

Short-term exposure guidelines: None developed

ACUTE TOXICITY DATA:

Lethal concentration data:

Species Reference LC50(ppm) LCLo(ppm) Time Adjusted 0.5-hrLC (CF) Derived value
SeO2Rabbit Zapp 1946 —– 5,890 mg/m3 20 min 3,638 mg Se/m3 (0.87) 364 mg Se/m3
SeO2Goat Zapp 1946 —– 6,590 mg/m3 10 min 3,228 mg Se/m3 (0.69) 323 mg Se/m3
SeO2Sheep Zapp 1946 —– 6,590 mg/m3 10 min 3,228 mg Se/m3 (0.69) 323 mg Se/m3

Lethal dose data:

Species Reference Route LD50(mg/kg) LDLo(mg/kg) Adjusted LD Derived value
SeRat Cummins &Kimura 1971 oral 6,700 —– 46,900 mg Se/m3 4,690 mg Se/m3
SeO3×2Na Rat Cummins & Kimura 1971 oral 7 —– 22 mg Se/m3 2.2 mg Se/m3
SeO3×2Na Pig Olson 1986 oral —– 13 42 mg Se/m3 4.2 mg Se/m3
SeO3×2Na Cow Olson 1986 oral —– 9.9 32 mg Se/m3 3.2 mg Se/m3
SeO3×2Na Goat Olson 1986 oral —– 3.3 11 mg Se/m3 1.1 mg Se/m3
SeO3×2Na Sheep Olson 1986 oral —– 3.3 11 mg Se/m3 1.1 mg Se/m3
SeO3×2Na Mouse Pletnikova 1970a oral 7.08 —– 23 mg Se/m3 2.3 mg Se/m3
SeO3×2Na G. pig Pletnikova 1970a oral 5.06 —– 16 mg Se/m3 1.6 mg Se/m3
SeO3×2Na Rabbit Pletnikova 1970b oral 2.25 —– 7.2 mg Se/m3 0.7 mg Se/m3
SeO3×2Na Horse Stowe 1980 oral 13 —– 42 mg Se/ m3 0.4 mg Se/m3
SeOCl2Rabbit Wilber 1980 skin —– 2 6.7 mg Se/m3 0.7 mg Se/m3

Human data: None relevant for use in determining the revised IDLH.

REFERENCES:

1. ACGIH [1971]. Selenium compounds (as Se). In: Documentation of the threshold limit values for substances in workroom air. 3rd ed. Cincinnati, OH: American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists, pp. 224-225.

2. Cummins LM, Kimura ET [1971]. Safety evaluation of selenium sulfide antidandruff shampoos. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 20:89-96.

3. Hall RH, Laskin S, Frank P, Maynard EA, Hodge HC [1951]. Preliminary observations on toxicity of elemental selenium. AMA Arch Ind Hyg Occup Med 4:458-464.

4. Olson OE [1986]. Selenium toxicity in animals with emphasis on man. J Am Coll Toxicol 5(1):45-70.

5. Pletnikova IP [1970a]. Biological action and the non-injuriousness level of selenium when it enters the organism together with drinking water. Gig Sanit 35(2):14-19 (in Russian).

6. Pletnikova IP [1970b]. Biological effect and safe concentration of selenium in drinking water. Gig Sanit 35(1-3):176-181 (translated).

7. Stowe HD [1980]. Effects of copper pretreatment upon the toxicity of selenium in ponies. Am J Vet Res 41(12):1925-1928.

8. Wilber CG [1980]. Toxicology of selenium: a review. Clin Toxicol 17:171-230.

9. Zapp JA [1946]. Chapter 11. Cadmium, selenium, and the carbonyls of iron and nickel. In: Summary technical report of division 9, NDRC. Vol 1. Chemical warfare agents and related chemical problems. Parts I-II. Washington, DC: National Defence Research Committee, pp. 173-178.

Page last reviewed: December 4, 2014