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Selenous acid is used in steel guns, wherein it changes the color of the steel from silver-grey to blue-grey. It serves as an important component of the Mecke reagent, which is utilized for drug testing. It acts as a source of selenium. It acts as a reagent for alkaloids and an oxidizing agent. Further, it is used in labeling radiopharmaceuticals. It is involved in the organic synthesis for the preparation of glyoxal.
Kharkongor, I.; Myrboh, B. One-pot synthesis of α-ketoacetals from aryl methyl ketones in the presence of selenous acid catalyzed by boron triflouride etherate. Tetrahedron Lett. 2015, 56 (29), 4359-4362.
Pathe, G. K.; Ahmed, N. SeO2 in water: a mild and efficient promoter for deprotection of acetyl, methoxymethyl and tetrahydropyranyl ethers and sequel oxidation of methyl/methylene carbons of alpha carbonyl carbon. RSC Adv. 2015, 5 (73), 59114-59119.
Hazard Statements: H301-H331-H373
Toxic if swallowed. Toxic if inhaled. May cause damage to organs through prolonged or repeated exposure.
Precautionary Statements: P260-P301+P310a-P304+P340-P311a-P405-P501a
Do not breathe dust/fume/gas/mist/vapours/spray. IF SWALLOWED: Immediately call a POISON CENTER/doctor IF INHALED: Remove to fresh air and keep at rest in a position comfortable for breathing. Call a POISON CENTER/doctor. Store locked up. Dispose of contents/container in accordance with local/regional/national/international regulations.