Acute human toxicity and mortality after selenium ingestion: A review

Niels Hadrup, Gitte Ravn-Haren*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Background
Although selenium is an essential element for humans, acute toxicity has been reported after high oral exposure.

Methods
The published literature on the acute toxicity of oral selenium was gathered and reviewed.

Results
Reported symptoms and signs include abdominal symptoms, such as vomiting, diarrhea, pain, and nausea, as well as garlic-like odor on the breath. In cases of severe toxicity, cardiac and pulmonary symptoms may develop and ultimately lead to mortality. Mortality has been described after the ingestion of gun bluing solutions, which often contain selenous acid among other potentially toxic substances. Mortality has also been reported after the ingestion of other forms of selenium. Ingested doses associated with mortality are in the range of 1–100 mg Se/kg body weight. Blood levels associated with mortality are above 300 μg Se/L (normal level: 100 μg/L), whereas urinary levels associated with the same endpoint are above170 μg Se/L (normal level: 20–90 μg/L).

Conclusion
The acute toxicity associated with oral selenium ingestion and the blood and urinary levels of selenium in different cases of poisonings were reviewed. Mortality is a risk of acute selenium poisoning. Concentrations of selenium in blood and urine samples in non-fatal cases are close to those observed in fatal cases.
Original languageEnglish
Article number126435
JournalJournal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology
Volume58
Number of pages5
ISSN0946-672X
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Keywords

  • Se
  • Selenate
  • Selenite
  • Selenium dioxide
  • Gun bluing
  • Toxic
  • Acute poisoning

Cite this

@article{2337ce5dad7f4ad680c40f5cbd775e6b,
title = "Acute human toxicity and mortality after selenium ingestion: A review",
abstract = "BackgroundAlthough selenium is an essential element for humans, acute toxicity has been reported after high oral exposure.MethodsThe published literature on the acute toxicity of oral selenium was gathered and reviewed.ResultsReported symptoms and signs include abdominal symptoms, such as vomiting, diarrhea, pain, and nausea, as well as garlic-like odor on the breath. In cases of severe toxicity, cardiac and pulmonary symptoms may develop and ultimately lead to mortality. Mortality has been described after the ingestion of gun bluing solutions, which often contain selenous acid among other potentially toxic substances. Mortality has also been reported after the ingestion of other forms of selenium. Ingested doses associated with mortality are in the range of 1–100 mg Se/kg body weight. Blood levels associated with mortality are above 300 μg Se/L (normal level: 100 μg/L), whereas urinary levels associated with the same endpoint are above170 μg Se/L (normal level: 20–90 μg/L).ConclusionThe acute toxicity associated with oral selenium ingestion and the blood and urinary levels of selenium in different cases of poisonings were reviewed. Mortality is a risk of acute selenium poisoning. Concentrations of selenium in blood and urine samples in non-fatal cases are close to those observed in fatal cases.",
keywords = "Se, Selenate, Selenite, Selenium dioxide, Gun bluing, Toxic, Acute poisoning",
author = "Niels Hadrup and Gitte Ravn-Haren",
year = "2020",
doi = "10.1016/j.jtemb.2019.126435",
language = "English",
volume = "58",
journal = "Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology",
issn = "0946-672X",
publisher = "Elsevier",

}

Acute human toxicity and mortality after selenium ingestion: A review. / Hadrup, Niels; Ravn-Haren, Gitte.

In: Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology, Vol. 58, 126435, 2020.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Acute human toxicity and mortality after selenium ingestion: A review

AU - Hadrup, Niels

AU - Ravn-Haren, Gitte

PY - 2020

Y1 - 2020

N2 - BackgroundAlthough selenium is an essential element for humans, acute toxicity has been reported after high oral exposure.MethodsThe published literature on the acute toxicity of oral selenium was gathered and reviewed.ResultsReported symptoms and signs include abdominal symptoms, such as vomiting, diarrhea, pain, and nausea, as well as garlic-like odor on the breath. In cases of severe toxicity, cardiac and pulmonary symptoms may develop and ultimately lead to mortality. Mortality has been described after the ingestion of gun bluing solutions, which often contain selenous acid among other potentially toxic substances. Mortality has also been reported after the ingestion of other forms of selenium. Ingested doses associated with mortality are in the range of 1–100 mg Se/kg body weight. Blood levels associated with mortality are above 300 μg Se/L (normal level: 100 μg/L), whereas urinary levels associated with the same endpoint are above170 μg Se/L (normal level: 20–90 μg/L).ConclusionThe acute toxicity associated with oral selenium ingestion and the blood and urinary levels of selenium in different cases of poisonings were reviewed. Mortality is a risk of acute selenium poisoning. Concentrations of selenium in blood and urine samples in non-fatal cases are close to those observed in fatal cases.

AB - BackgroundAlthough selenium is an essential element for humans, acute toxicity has been reported after high oral exposure.MethodsThe published literature on the acute toxicity of oral selenium was gathered and reviewed.ResultsReported symptoms and signs include abdominal symptoms, such as vomiting, diarrhea, pain, and nausea, as well as garlic-like odor on the breath. In cases of severe toxicity, cardiac and pulmonary symptoms may develop and ultimately lead to mortality. Mortality has been described after the ingestion of gun bluing solutions, which often contain selenous acid among other potentially toxic substances. Mortality has also been reported after the ingestion of other forms of selenium. Ingested doses associated with mortality are in the range of 1–100 mg Se/kg body weight. Blood levels associated with mortality are above 300 μg Se/L (normal level: 100 μg/L), whereas urinary levels associated with the same endpoint are above170 μg Se/L (normal level: 20–90 μg/L).ConclusionThe acute toxicity associated with oral selenium ingestion and the blood and urinary levels of selenium in different cases of poisonings were reviewed. Mortality is a risk of acute selenium poisoning. Concentrations of selenium in blood and urine samples in non-fatal cases are close to those observed in fatal cases.

KW - Se

KW - Selenate

KW - Selenite

KW - Selenium dioxide

KW - Gun bluing

KW - Toxic

KW - Acute poisoning

U2 - 10.1016/j.jtemb.2019.126435

DO - 10.1016/j.jtemb.2019.126435

M3 - Journal article

VL - 58

JO - Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology

JF - Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology

SN - 0946-672X

M1 - 126435

ER -