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May 28, 1938

Current Comment

JAMA. 1938;110(22):1840-1841. doi:10.1001/jama.1938.02790220042017

SELENIUM IN INDUSTRY  The primary purpose of a recent study of selenium reported by Dudley1 is to point out those industries in which unrecognized hazards may exist as the result of the processing of selenium-bearing materials. He also describes the methods developed for the determination of selenium in the air as dust or vapor, and a satisfactory method of urine examination. That this study is by no means premature is evidenced by the increase in the domestic consumption of selenium from approximately 57,000 pounds in 1921 to 412,000 pounds in 1935. Selenium is now widely employed in industry and includes such processes as glass decolorization, plastics, rubber "accelerators," fire-proofing of electric cable, photoelectric apparatus, glass, paint and ink pigments and chemicals. The excretion of selenium in the urine is considered conclusive evidence that workers are absorbing selenium, but more clinical and experimental laboratory work is necessary to establish a