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Associated topic: Heavy metals

Emissions monitoring period: since 1990

Data source: CITEPA / SECTEN format - April 2017


Sources of the pollutant

Selenium (Se) emissions are mainly from certain glass manufacturing plants. The combustion of heavy fuel oil also contributes to these emissions as it contains traces of Se.


Effect of the pollutant

Selenium (Se) is a micro-nutrient which is essential to most animal species, including humans. It is necessary to the function of different enzymes involved in cell defence against stress. Acute exposure through inhalation of large amounts of selenium dioxide in powder form can cause pulmonary oedema due to the local irritant effect on alveoli. Chronic long-term exposure mainly affects the respiratory system, but gastro-intestinal effects also occur.

Heavy metals can be toxic for the biosphere. Most being under particulate shape, they accumulate in the water, the grounds, the food and the air.


Classification of sub-sectors* with the highest emission levels in 2015

Classification Sub-sectors Share of sub-sector in total national emissions in mainland France
1 Non-metallic minerals, building materials including: 74% including:
Glass 71%
Cement 2.8%
2 Residential sector 7.1%
3 Ferrous metals production 6.2%
4 District heating 1.5%
5 Petroleum refining 1.4%

* : one sector out of six (energy transformation, manufacturing industry, residential/tertiary, agriculture/forestry, road transport and other transport) is broken down into sub-sectors.


Emissions and trends

Minimum observed: 11 t in 2014
Maximum observed: 16 t in 1998
Emissions in 2015: 11 t
Trends 2015/1990: -27.2%
Trends 2015/maximum: -31.0%
Trends 2015/minimum: +0.4%

Measurement unit: t (tonne)
Source CITEPA / SECTEN format – April 2017

Graph Se 17

Graph Legende sans UTCFv2

Source CITEPA / SECTEN format – April 2017

Tab Se 17

(*) Following UNECE/NEC definitions : emissions classified "except total" are not included, i.e. emissions from international maritime, emissions from domestic and international air transport cruise (≥ 1000 m), emissions from agriculture and forestry biogenic sources and emissions from non-anthropogenic sources.
(e) preliminary estimate



Selenium (Se) emissions in 2015 decreased compared with 1990 levels. Selenium is emitted by... (to read more, consult the SECTEN report online via your login and password)

Data source: CITEPA / SECTEN format - April 2017