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What is Manganese?

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Everyone is exposed to small amounts of Manganese in air, water, and food. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has determined that manganese is not classifiable as to human carcinogenicity.

Manganese is the twelfth most common element in the Earth's crust. It is found in soil, water, plants, and animals, as well as air particles. Workers mine and process Manganese for various purposes and products like batteries, fertilizers, pesticides, ceramics, as a gasoline additive, and dietary supplements. Everyday, people are exposed to manganese through their food, air, soil, and water.


Manganese (C.A.S. 7439-96-5) is an abundant element and naturally occurring substance found in many types of rock. Pure manganese is a silver-colored metal, similar to iron in its physical and chemical properties. Manganese does not occur in the environment as a pure metal, but is a component of more than 100 minerals, including sulfides, oxides, carbonates, silicates, phosphates, and borates. It is combined with other elements or chemicals such as oxygen, sulfur, and chlorine to make compounds that do not evaporate. The most important manganese compounds are manganous chloride (MnCl2); manganous sulfate (MnSO4); manganese tetroxide (Mn3O4); manganese dioxide (MnO2); and potassium permanganate (KMnO4).

Manganese - National Institute of Health

In 1993, the National Institute of Health (NIH) issued a statement concerning manganese and Manganism. According to the NIH, "Occupational exposure to manganese for periods of six months to two years can result in Manganism, a disease of the central nervous system characterized by psychogenic and neurological disorders with symptoms resembling Parkinson's disease."

Manganese - High Risk Manganese Poisoning Occupations

Industries of particular concern for manganese exposure include manganese mining and processing, iron and steel manufacturers, ferromanganese facilities, dry cell battery plants and welding, and people working with metals.

Manganese – Dietary Supplement

Manganese is a dietary element that is essential to maintaining good health when taken into the body in small amounts. However, people who are exposed to extremely high levels of manganese are placing themselves in harm's way. Manganese should not be confused with Magnesium, a mineral that is essential for human nutrition.

Regulated by OSHA and cited by ACGIH, Manganese is linked to extremely serious health conditions as a result of exposure. Parkinson disease, Manganism, manganese poisoning, Parkinsonism, and Wilson's disease have all been linked to manganese exposure.

Manganese and the Central Nervous System

Manganese remains in the central nervous system long after exposure to manganese has occurred, allowing the element to affect the health of individuals years later. Permanent brain damage can result from manganese exposure, so symptoms of manganese poisoning should be immediately checked. In the event that you were exposed to manganese and may be suffering the effects of the dangerous element, seek immediate medical attention.

Manganese – Welding Rods

Manganese found in commercial welding rods and other welding consumables, such as some wire, is toxic. Exposure to manganese can cause Parkinson's Disease or symptoms very similar to that of Parkinson's Disease. The process of heating and cutting welding rods that contain manganese can release fumes and dust into the air. These fumes are invisible and may not have an odor.

Manganese - Cancer

There is no human cancer data available for Manganese. Exposure to high levels of manganese in food resulted in a slightly increased incidence of pancreatic tumors in male rats and thyroid tumors in male and female mice.

See a doctor if you have been harmed by this substance. It may be important to contact an attorney who can help you protect your legal rights.


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