Pollutant Information: Selenium 

About Selenium

Category: Heavy metals and base cations

Acute exposure to selenium by inhalation results in respiratory effects such as irritation to the mucous membranes, severe bronchitis and bronchial pneumonia. Selenium emissions have declined by 83% since 1990. The majority of selenium emissions in earlier years were from coal combustion, and, although emissions have declined with coal use, it remains a significant source in 2015. Only trace amounts are emitted by the combustion of petroleum-based fuels.

» View and Download Selenium emission summary data

Time series graph


Notable events

Start year End year Sector Information Impact
1984 1985 Public Electricity and Heat Production Miners strike resulting in a reduction in the consumption of coal and an increase in the consumption of alternative fuels in power stations for that year. Decrease in emissions

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