Excess selenium from fertilizers and other natural sources can create air pollution that could lead to lung cancer, asthma, and Type 2 diabetes, according to new UC Riverside research.
The research team conducted previous UCR studies in the Salton Sea area, which contains selenium rich wetlands and soils toxic to birds and fish. These’ studies also revealed that the area’s concentration of aerosols, which are solid or liquid particles suspended in air, have increased in recent years.
However, the full chemical makeup of the aerosols, or whether they would have any effects on humans, remained unknown. This motivated the team to create similar aerosol particles in the laboratory and study them.