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Social and Behavioral Sciences Commons

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Case

2003

Physical Sciences and Mathematics

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Full-Text Articles in Social and Behavioral Sciences

Evolution Of Chemical Contaminant And Toxicology Studies, Part 2- Case Studies Of Selenium And Arsenic, Glennys O'Brien, Dianne Jolley, Robert John Morrison Jan 2003

Evolution Of Chemical Contaminant And Toxicology Studies, Part 2- Case Studies Of Selenium And Arsenic, Glennys O'Brien, Dianne Jolley, Robert John Morrison

Faculty of Science - Papers (Archive)

As the second of a two part series discussing the evolution of the field of environmental toxicology, this paper presents two case studies: selenium and arsenic. Developments over several decades in the understanding of the behaviour of arsenic and selenium in different chemical forms in various compartments of the environment are discussed. Selenium was initially thought to be toxic, but later investigations showed it to be an essential micronutrient with a variety of biochemical functions, and, importantly, that there is a very narrow gap between the essential and the toxic body burden. Arsenic, on the other hand, has not yet ...