Hydrogen selenide (as Se)
Immediately Dangerous to Life or Health Concentrations (IDLH)
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  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:
|Species||Reference||LC50(ppm)||LCLo(ppm)||Time||Adjusted 0.5-hrLC (CF)||Derived value|
|G. pig||Dudley and Miller 1941||—–||0.3||8 hr||0.75 ppm (2.5)||0.08 ppm|
|G. pig||Dudley and Miller 1941||LC19: 1.8||—–||4 hr||3.6 ppm (2.0)||0.36 ppm|
|G. pig||Dudley and Miller 1941||LC25: 2.1||—–||4 hr||4.2 ppm (2.0)||0.42 ppm|
|G. pig||Dudley and Miller 1941||LC13: 1.8||—–||2 hr||2.9 ppm (1.6)||0.29 ppm|
|Rat||Wilber 1980||—–||5.9||1 hr||7.4 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 ppmBasis 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].|
1. Dudley HC, Miller JW . 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 . Handbook on the toxicology of metals. New York, NY: Elsevier North Holland, p. 568.
3. Wilber CG . Toxicology of selenium: a review. Clin Toxicol 17(2):171-230.
- Page last reviewed: December 4, 2014
- Page last updated: December 4, 2014
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