Selenium is found in ground and surface water. This water is used for our drinking water. On average, there is much less than 10 micrograms per liter of selenium in our drinking water. In our body, the concentration of selenium is about 0.05 ppm.
What is Selenium?
Selenium is a non-metal with a gray color. When converted to powder, selenium has a red or black color. Selenium is found in the earth’s crust, often in combination with sulfur-containing minerals. It’s special that it can convert light into electricity, and that the conductivity of selenium depends on the amount of light. Selenium is in the periodic table with symbol Se and atomic number 34.
How does selenium get into drinking water?
The recommended maximum selenium content of drinking water is 10 μg (micrograms) per liter. Small concentrations of selenium can end up in drinking water from pure selenium minerals in nature, although these are quite rare. Selenium is released during the extraction of lead, silver and copper. It is also used in the glass industry to decolorize glass. Pollution can lead to selenium ending up in groundwater.
Selenium is added to shampoos and skin products. In particular, anti-dandruff shampoos and eczema creams contain significant amounts of selenium sulfide. This ends up in our sewer through the drain. From there it is absorbed into the surface water. Water treatment plants use this groundwater to produce drinking water.
In addition to drinking water, you also get selenium through your food intake. Some foods that are high in selenium are:
- brazil nuts;
- sunflower seeds.
What are the health effects of selenium?
Selenium is a trace element that acts as an antioxidant. The recommended daily allowance of selenium for adults is between 60 and 70 μg (micrograms). A lack of selenium can lead to cardiomyopathy, a disease of the heart muscle. Other symptoms of a selenium deficiency are muscle pain and muscle weakness. Selenium also protects red blood cells from damage, ensures proper functioning of the thyroid gland and neutralizes heavy metals.
In addition to having a good effect on our health, selenium can also be harmful in large quantities. This happens with an intake of more than 450 μg (micrograms) per day. The chance that you will consume too much selenium through food and water is very small. There is a risk of selenium poisoning when using dietary supplements. An excessive selenium intake can be recognized by, among other things:
- damage to the skin;
- loss and brittleness of hair and nails;
- strong sweat odor;
- strong-smelling breath, resembling a garlic scent;
- disorders of the nervous system.
Does ZeroWater filter selenium from tap water?
Yes, ZeroWater filters 98% selenium from the tap water. The Premium 5-stage Ionization Changer Filtration System removes more impurities than the standard 2-stage filters. During the test, ZeroWater had 150 liters of filtered water (double the prescribed use) tested by an independently certified external laboratory. The test results are based on the NSF/ANSI test protocol of flow-through equipment for contaminants listed under the national primary drinking water standards.