Occurrence, Contamination, Speciation and Analysis of Selenium in the Environment

  • M. S. V. Naga Jyothi
  • B. J. Ramaiah
  • Shihabudheen M. MaliyekkalEmail author
Part of the Energy, Environment, and Sustainability book series (ENENSU)


Selenium (Se) is an essential micronutrient for animals and human. It serves as an antioxidant and anti-carcinogenic agent in humans. However, there is only a minuscule gap in intake concentration between deficiency and toxicity limits. Natural source of Se in the environment is due to weathering of selenium-containing parent bedrocks and atmospheric deposition. However, the magnitude of the release of Se into the environment has intensified by anthropogenic activities. The bioavailability and toxicity of Se depend on its chemical forms, exposure time, and concentration. Several studies have documented both the beneficial and adverse effects of Se on human and other biotic forms. In this context, understanding the fundamentals of selenium chemistry, occurrence, sources, toxicity, and exposure mechanism are important to control its intake and threshold uptake limit. The chapter reviews the literature relevant to the release of Se into the natural habitat, speciation, and its effects on humans and animals. The manuscript also renders outline on analytical techniques based on speciation and detection of selenium compounds.


Analysis Environment Occurrence Selenium Source Speciation 



Authors gratefully acknowledge the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Technology Mission Division, Government of India [Grant no: DST/TM/WTI/WIC/2K17/82(C)]. The authors would like to express gratitude towards Springer publisher for rendering license to reuse Eh-pH diagram of selenium from the book chapter ‘Eh-pH diagrams for geochemistry’. We are grateful for Elsevier publisher for allowing to use table of isobaric and polyatomic interferences for selenium analysis by ICP-MS from ‘Selenium analysis in waters. Part 1: Regulations and standard methods’. The authors also thank IIT Tirupati for the support.


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. S. V. Naga Jyothi
    • 1
  • B. J. Ramaiah
    • 1
  • Shihabudheen M. Maliyekkal
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringIndian Institute of Technology TirupatiTirupatiIndia

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