Selenium is a naturally occurring element found in most rocks and soils (Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, 2003). In its solid form, selenium is black, gray, or red and is odorless (New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services, 2002). Most selenium is obtained from byproducts of the copper refining industry. Selenium compounds are often used in electronic components, photocopiers, metal alloys, rubber, paint pigments, glass-making (ruby red glass), and photographic emulsions (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 2003). Selenium exhibits both photovoltaic and photoconductive properties. As more light shines on selenium, its electrical conductivity increases, making it extremely useful for electric eyes, photo cells, and light meters for photographic components (Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility--Office of Science Education, 2004). Selenium is also used in the production of vitamins, dandruff shampoo, and as a dietary supplement for livestock (Prince Agri Products, 2004).
Information Circular 10
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Davidson, Bart and Fisher, R. Stephen, "Groundwater Quality in Kentucky: Selenium" (2005). Kentucky Geological Survey Information Circular. 8.