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Environ Res. 2001 Feb;85(2):90-104.

Exposure to manganese: health effects on the general population, a pilot study in central Mexico.

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  • 1Instituto de Salud Ambiente y Trabajo, Cerrada del Convento 48-A, Colonia Santa Ursula Xitla, Tlalpan, D.F. c.p. 14420, Mexico. carlos.santos-burgoa@isat.org.mx


To support a risk assessment of manganese exposure in two communities living within a manganese mining district a cross-sectional study was performed on a sample of the adult population of long-term residents. One community was exposed to a point source from an ore primary refining plant. Manganese is an essential mineral for human life. It is also the fourth in importance for industrial metal making. Data were collected on socioeconomic living conditions, emission sources, environmental media concentrations (air, water, soil, dust, food), respiratory symptomatology, and a neuropsychological examination (Mini-Mental Screening test, the Hooper Visual Organization test, the Ardila-Ostroski, and others). We examined 73 subjects (52 women), most of low socioeconomic status. Environmental air concentrations were 2 to 3 times higher than those in other urban concentrations. Manganese blood concentrations ranged from 7.5 to 88 microg/L, with a median concentration of 15, the upper quartile starting at 20 microg/L; the upper 10% was above 25 microg/L. Lead and manganese were highly correlated; there was an inverse relation to hemoglobin. Reduced levels of plasma lipid peroxidation were associated with blood manganese. Using multivariate logistic regression, we identified B-Mn as increasing the risk of deficient cognitive performance 12 times (Mini-Mental score of less than 17).

Copyright 2001 Academic Press.

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