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Journal Articles Reviews in Environmental Science and Bio/technology Year : 2009

Selenium environmental cycling and bioavailability: a structural chemist point of view

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Abstract

Selenium is usually known as the ‘double-edged sword element' for its dual toxic and beneficial character to health. Since the pioneer works by Schwarz and Foltz on the relationships between selenium deficiency and liver, muscle and heart diseases, many efforts have been undertaken to better understand the role of selenium in health. At the same time, an increasing number of publications have appeared during these last years on the selenium physico–chemical interactions within the environment. Both types of research represent ongoing efforts to correctly estimate the bioavailability of selenium species for health and the environment. Redox reactions, diffusion, adsorption and precipitation processes or interactions with organic matter and biota govern the speciation and mobility of selenium in the environment. This review intends to emphasize and collect the important advances made during these last years in the mechanistic understanding of processes which govern selenium cycling and bioavailability, like adsorption at the mineral/water interface, precipitation of elemental selenium, or bioavailability of nanoscaled precipitates. The advent of powerful spectroscopic techniques, like X-ray absorption spectroscopy, has allowed the structural description of adsorption and substitution processes that selenium undergoes in a variety of minerals. These and other structural details about selenium precipitates are reviewed here, together with their relationships to the bioavailability of the element in the environment.

Dates and versions

insu-00419346 , version 1 (23-09-2009)

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Alejandro Fernandez-Martinez, Laurent Charlet. Selenium environmental cycling and bioavailability: a structural chemist point of view. Reviews in Environmental Science and Bio/technology, 2009, 8 (1), pp.81-110. ⟨10.1007/s11157-009-9145-3⟩. ⟨insu-00419346⟩
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