Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Am J Ind Med. 2007 Nov;50(11):801-11.

Biomarkers of Mn exposure in humans.

Author information

  • 1Environmental Toxicology, University of California-Santa Cruz, 1156 High Street, Santa Cruz, CA, USA.



Studies have reported associations between manganese (Mn) exposures and Mn levels in blood and urine, though the suitability of these biological measures as biomarkers of exposure is not well known.


We evaluated whether whole blood, plasma, and urine Mn levels reflect exposures in occupationally exposed humans.


In active ferroalloy workers, blood Mn was associated with total air Mn levels in subjects currently exposed to low (median = 0.42 microg/m(3), P = 0.009) and moderate (median = 4.2 microg/m(3), P = 0.007) air Mn levels, but not in workers exposed to the highest Mn levels (median = 292 microg/m(3), P = 0.31). In bridge welders blood Mn (P < 0.01), but not plasma or urine Mn was significantly associated with their cumulative respiratory exposure index. In welders, approximately 6% (range approximately 3-9%) of whole blood Mn was contained in the plasma fraction, though there was no association between whole blood and plasma Mn levels (Pearson's R = 0.258, P = 0.12). In contrast, in fresh whole blood samples spiked with Mn ex vivo approximately 80% or more of added Mn partitioned in the plasma, while only approximately 20% or less partitioned in the cellular fraction.


These data suggest a complex and limited relationship between exposure and blood Mn levels that may depend upon exposure attributes and the latency of blood sampling relative to exposure; plasma and urine Mn appear to be of little utility as exposure biomarkers. This underscores the need to fully characterize and validate these or other biomarkers for use in constructing appropriate exposure metrics and determining exposure-effect relationships.

(c) 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk