Selenium, chemical symbol Se, is the 34 element on the periodic table and is considered to be a nonmetal. It is most commonly produced during the refining of copper or in the creation of sulfuric acid. Even though it is toxic in large doses, it is an essential micronutrient in the body. It has many other uses in a variety of different industries.
Uses of selenium
- The most common use of selenium is in the production of glass. Due to the fact that selenium causes a red color in glass it can be used to create a red color in glass. It can also be used to cancel out the green or yellow tints caused by other impurities during the glassmaking process.
- Small amounts of selenium compounds are used in rubber manufacturing.
- It can be mixed with another chemical element called bismuth to create a lead free brass.
- Selenium sulfide is a common ingredient of anti-dandruff shampoo. It kills the fungus on the scalp that causes the scalp to shed skin. It can also be used to treat some skin conditions caused by other fungi.
- It was once extensively used in electronics, but this has declined somewhat in recent years. It is still used in photocopying, solar cells and lightmeters. It is also used in blue and white LED’s.
- Selenium is used in some x-ray cameras. It is also used to provide tone to black-and-white photographs.