University of Idaho eTOX - Principles of Environmental Toxicology the study of Toxic Substances in the Environment
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Lecture 14 - Special Topics

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Learning Objectives

  1. Examine the chemistry of selenium in inorganic and organic molecules.
  2. Understand the role of seleno-amino acids in the expression of selenium toxicity in plant and animal systems.
  3. Examine chronic selenium toxicosis (selenosis).
  4. Understand the role of selenium in aquatic bird teratogenesis.
  5. Describe the biogechemical cycle of selenium.
  6. Analyze environmental Se case studies.
  7. Examine the regulatory and scientific issues involved in Se risk assessment.
  8. Explore the occurrence of Arsenic in drinking water.
  9. Describe the US As regulatory changes.
  10. Describe the clinical pathology of arsenicosis.
  11. Examine the arsenic in drinking water public health emergency in Bangladesh.

Advance Reading

  1. Technical fact sheet on drinking water selenium.
  2. ATSDR Public Health Statement: selenium
  3. ATSDR Public Health Statement: arsenic
  4. USEPA - As in drinking water
  5. West Bengal and Bangladesh Arsenic Crisis Information Center (site familiarization)
  6. Chronic Arsenic Poisoning: History, Study and Remediation (Harvard U.) (site familiarization)



  • Selenite
  • Selenate
  • Selenide
  • Biogeochemical cycling
  • Seleno-amino acid
  • Aquatic biota criteria
  • SRB - sulfate reducing bacteria
  • SeRB - selenium reducing bacteria
  • Selenosis
  • Arsenicosis
  • Tubewell
  • Keratosis
  • BAT - best available technology

Suggested Reading

  1. Field Manual of Wildlife Diseases: Birds, Diagnosis of selenium poisoning
  2. Pictures of Arsenic Sufferers (Harvard U.)
  3. Bangladesh-Mitigation of Arsenic in Groundwater (World Bank)

Lecture Materials

PDF Notes


Selenium & Wildlife, A. Fairbrother, DVM, Ph.D. 3 min

Selenium in the Caribou National Forest, J. Jones 5 min

Lecture Activities


Question or Comment? E-mail etox(at)uidaho(dot)edu

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