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Selenium geochemistry and health

Fordyce, Fiona. 2007 Selenium geochemistry and health. AMBIO : a journal of the human environment, 36 (1). 94-97. 10.1579/0044-7447

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Abstract/Summary

Selenium (Se) is a naturally occurring metalloid element, which is essential to human and other animal health in trace amounts but is harmful in excess. Of all the elements, Se has one of the narrowest ranges between dietary deficiency (< 40 µg day-1) and toxic levels (> 400 µg day-1) (1) making it necessary to carefully control intakes by humans and other animals hence the importance of understanding the relationships between environmental exposure and health. Geology exerts a fundamental control on the concentrations of Se in the soils on which we grow the crops and animals that form the human food chain. The Se status of populations, animals and crops vary markedly around the world as a result of different geological conditions. Since diet is the most important source of Se in humans, understanding the biogeochemical controls on the distribution and mobility of environmental Se is key to the assessment of Se-related health risks.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1579/0044-7447
Programmes: BGS Programmes > Chemical and Biological Hazards
NORA Subject Terms: Earth Sciences
Ecology and Environment
Health
Date made live: 07 Aug 2012 09:16
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/19045

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