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Risks and benefits in agricultural uses of selenium

Abstract

Selenium deficiency in soils, and subsequently in crops that are grown on them, has been charted in various parts of the world. Use of carefully regulated amounts of supplemental selenium in such areas has been effective in improving productive performance of domestic food-producing animals, and some 30 years' experience has now been gained with various supplementation practices. Coincidentaliy, there have been instances reported of situations where selenium toxicity has resulted from a combination of naturally-high environmental levels, enhanced by agricultural, environmental and industrial practices, and questions have been raised as to whether continued animal supplementation may contribute to selenium toxicity. This paper examines some of the various factors involved and concludes that presently-established animal supplementation uses of selenium are small compared with other sources of the element and that they do not constitute a hazard to animals, including humans, or the environment.

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Oldfield, J.E. Risks and benefits in agricultural uses of selenium. Environ Geochem Health 14, 81–86 (1992). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01784018

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Keywords

  • Toxicity
  • Geochemistry
  • Selenium
  • Productive Performance
  • Industrial Practice