Zinc Selenide









ESPI Metals

1050 Benson Way, Ashland, OR 97520

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Product Name:     Zinc Selenide

Formula:              ZnSe

CAS Number:       1315-09-9




Hazardous Component:  Zinc Selenide 

Percent (%):                  0-100

OSHA/PEL:                      0.2 mg(Se)/m3

ACGIH/TLV:                    0.2 mg(Se)/m3 

HMIS Ratings:

Health:                           3

Flammability:                0

Reactivity:                     0





Melting Point:                 1520 oC

Boiling Point:                  N/E or N/A

Specific Gravity:            5.27 g/cc

Solubility in H2O:           Insoluble

Appearance and Odor:  Reddish-yellow powder and pieces, odorless




Flash Point:  N/E or N/A

Autoignition Temperature:  N/E or N/A

Explosive LimitsLower:  N/A         Upper:  N/A

Extinguishing Media:  Use suitable extinguishing media for surrounding materials and type of fire.

Special Firefighting Procedures:  Firefighters must wear full face, self-contained breathing apparatus with full protective clothing to prevent contact with skin and eyes.  Fumes from fire are hazardous.  Isolate runoff to prevent environmental pollution.

Unusual Fire and Explosion Hazards:  When heated to decomposition, zinc selenide may emit toxic fumes of selenium and oxides of zinc.  On contact with strong acids, it may emit hydrogen selenide.




Routes of Entry:  Inhalation, skin, eyes, ingestion

Effects of Exposure:

To the best of our knowledge the chemical, physical and toxicological properties of zinc selenide have not been thoroughly investigated and recorded.

Zinc compounds have variable toxicity, but generally are of low toxicity.  Zinc is not inherently a toxic element.  However, when heated, it evolves a fume of zinc oxide which when inhaled fresh can cause a disease known as “brass founders”, “ague” or “brass chills.”  Zinc oxide dust which is not freshly formed is virtually innocuous.  There is no cumulative effect from the inhalation of zinc fumes.  (Sax, Dangerous Properties of Industrial Materials)

Selenium compounds are poison by inhalation and intravenous routes.  Some selenium compounds are experimental carcinogens.  Long Term exposure may be a cause of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in humans, just as it may cause “blind staggers” in cattle.  Elemental selenium has low acute systemic toxicity, but dust or fumes can cause serious irritation of the respiratory tract.  Inorganic selenium compounds can cause dermatitis.  Garlic odor of breath is also a common symptom.  Pallor, nervousness, depression, digestive disturbances and death have been reported in cases of chronic exposure.  (Sax, Dangerous Properties of Industrial Materials)

Acute Effects:

Inhalation:  DANGER-POISON.  May cause respiratory tract irritation with nasopharyngitis and laryngitis, brass chills and acute selenium poisoning.

Ingestion:  DANGER-POISON.  May cause gastrointestinal disturbances.

Skin:  May cause irritation.

Eyes:  May cause irritation.

Chronic Effects:

Inhalation:  May cause chronic selenium poisoning.  Continued intoxication may cause loss of nails and hair, hemolytic anemia, and kidney, liver and spleen damage.

Ingestion:  May cause chronic selenium toxicity.

Skin:  May cause dermatitis.

Eyes:  May case visual disturbances and blurred vision.

Target Organs:  Upper respiratory system, eyes, skin, liver, kidneys and blood.

Medical Conditions Generally Aggravated by Exposure:  Pre-existing respiratory and skin disorders.

CarcinogenicityNTP:  No               IARC:  No             OSHA:  No



INHALATION:   Remove victim to fresh air, keep warm and quiet, give oxygen if breathing is difficult and seek medical attention.

INGESTION:  Give victim fluids and do not induce vomiting, seek medical attention.

SKIN:  Remove contaminated clothing, brush material off of skin.  Wash affected area with mild soap and water.  Seek medical attention if irritation persists.

EYES:  Flush eyes with lukewarm water, lifting upper an d lower eyelids, for at least 15 minutes.  Seek medical attention immediately.




Stability:  Stable

Conditions to Avoid:  None

Incompatibility:  Strong acids and bases

Hazardous Decomposition or Byproducts:  Fumes of selenium, hydrogen selenide and oxides of zinc.

Hazardous Polymerization:  Will not occur.




Steps to Be Taken in Case Material Is Released or Spilled:   Wear appropriate respiratory and protective equipment specified in section VIII.  Isolate spill area and provide ventilation.  Vacuum up spill using a high efficiency particulate absolute (HEPA) air filter and place in a closed container for proper disposal.  Take care not to raise dust.

Waste Disposal Method:  In accordance with Local, State and Federal Waste Disposal Regulations.




Respiratory Protection:  NIOSH approved dust, mist, vapor cartridge respirator.

Ventilation:  Handle in a controlled environment.  Use local exhaust to maintain concentration at or below TLV/PEL.  General exhaust is not recommended.

Protective Gloves:  Rubber gloves 

Eye Protection:  Safety glasses

Other Protective Gear:  Protective gear suitable to prevent contamination.




Precautions to Be Taken in Handling and Storage:  Handle under dry, protective gas.  Store in tightly sealed container. Store in a cool, dry area.  Wash thoroughly after handling.

Other Precautions:  This product is moisture sensitive.  Store under dry, inert gas.  Store away from air.  Store away from water/moisture.  Do not store together with acids.  Store away from oxidizing agents.  Protect from humidity and water.  This product is air sensitive.

Work Practices:  Implement engineering and work practice controls to reduce and maintain concentration of exposure at low levels.  Use good housekeeping and sanitation practices.  Do not use tobacco or food in work area.  Wash thoroughly before eating and smoking.  Do not blow dust off clothing or skin with compressed air.  Maintain eyewash capable of sustained flushing, safety drench shower and facilities for washing.

DOT Regulations:

Hazard Class:   None



The above information is believed to be correct, but does not purport to be all inclusive and shall be used only as a guide.  ESPI shall not be held liable for any damage resulting from handling or from contact with the above product.


Issued By:             S. Dierks

Dated:                  March 2006