A Review of the Human Health Impacts of Selenium in Aquatic Systems


The Health Professionals Advisory Board (HPAB) has undertaken a human health review of selenium at the request of the International Joint Commission (IJC) and developed this technical report with the assistance of contractor Michael Kosnett. Selenium is an essential nutritional element that supports the health of immune, metabolic and reproductive systems. Exposure and uptake occur predominantly through the diet. However, when humans regularly consume above recommended upper intake levels for adults (400 micrograms/day), health problems can occur.

A summary of information about the nutritional value of selenium and the thresholds for toxicity are available in two infographics: “Selenium: Too Much of a Good Thing” provides information about selenium intake levels and current limits; and “Selenosis: Signs, Symptoms and Causes of Toxic Selenium Exposure” is a guide oriented toward health practitioners. French versions of the infographics are also linked below.