Selenium consumed at levels above its MCL over long periods, can cause symptoms of vomiting, nausea, hair loss, garlic breath, and a metallic taste. Safe Home offers a few kits that provide drinking water testing for selenium in city water and well water supplies.
Parameter Type: Drinking Water Testing for Volatiles
Parameter Name: Selenium
What it is and Where it Comes From:
Selenium is a chemical element with the symbol Se and atomic number 34 (group 16). It is a nonmetal (more rarely considered a metalloid) with properties that are intermediate between the elements above and below in the periodic table, sulfur and tellurium, and also has similarities to arsenic. It rarely occurs in its elemental state or as pure ore compounds in the Earth’s crust. Processed selenium is used to make electronics, pharmacy products, glass products, pesticides, and rubber. Selenium can enter water sources from natural rock weathering and soil erosion. Mining operations often contaminate surface and groundwater with selenium. Drinking water testing gives you several benefits like peace of mind, identifying contaminants in your water, and insight into health concerns. Safe Home offers Laboratory drinking water testing kits for selenium, allowing you to collect your water sample and ship it directly to our EPA-Certified Laboratory. This platform of drinking water testing for selenium will give you an accurate level based on the lowest level of a parameter our instruments can detect (Method Detection Level). Safe Home drinking water testing for metals can be used for city and well water supplies. Drinking water testing should be done any time you notice a significant change in your water quality.
Epidemiological studies of humans chronically (long-term) exposed to high levels of selenium in food and water have reported discoloration of the skin, pathological deformation and loss of nails, loss of hair, excessive tooth decay and discoloration, lack of mental alertness, and listlessness. Epidemiological studies have reported an inverse association between selenium levels in the blood and cancer occurrence and animal studies have reported that selenium supplementation, as sodium selenate, sodium selenite, and organic forms of selenium, results in a reduced incidence of several tumor types. The only selenium compound that has been shown to be carcinogenic in animals is selenium sulfide, which resulted in an increase in liver tumors from oral exposure. EPA has classified elemental selenium as a Group D, not classifiable as to human carcinogenicity, and selenium sulfide as a Group B2, probable human carcinogen.
Solutions to Contaminant Levels:
After drinking water testing, how can I resolve the issue? Selenium can be reduced by distillation and reverse osmosis. Distillation is one of the oldest water treatment processes. Water is boiled and the resulting steam is collected and cooled backed to water in a separate chamber. The treated water thus produced is called distilled water that is relatively free of many contaminants. Generally, distillation is used to supply water only for drinking or special uses. Distillation units are point-of-use devices that disinfect water, reduce the concentration of toxic metals, and remove some organic contaminants. Home distillation units are usually electrical devices, but oil, wood, or any other heat source can also be used. They can either be countertop units that are manually filled as water is needed, or they can be automatic and be connected to the household plumbing for continuous operation. Reverse osmosis is a process that removes foreign contaminants, solid substances, large molecules, and minerals from water by using pressure to push it through specialized membranes. Here’s how reverse osmosis works. Unlike osmosis, which is a passive process, reverse osmosis requires external force (pressure) to work. Pressure is applied to a highly concentrated solute solution, such as salt water, to pass through a membrane to a lower concentrate solution. The membrane allows water to flow through but blocks out larger molecules, like contaminants. The reverse osmosis process leaves higher concentrations of solute on one side and only the solvent, or freshwater, on the other. Who do I need to contact to find out more information about water quality in my area? Every community water supplier must provide an annual report to its customers, known as a Consumer Confidence Report (CCR). The report provides information on your local drinking water quality, including the water’s source, contaminants found in the water, and how consumers can get involved in protecting drinking water. How often does the local public water system preform drinking water testing? Frequency of drinking water testing depends on the number of people served, the type of water source, and types of contaminants. Certain contaminants are tested more frequently than others, as established by the Safe Drinking Water Act. You can find out about levels of regulated contaminants in your treated water for the previous calendar year in your annual Consumer Confidence Report (CCR).