1PUBLIC HEALTH STATEMENT

Publication Details

This public health statement tells you about manganese and the effects of exposure to it.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) identifies the most serious hazardous waste sites in the nation. These sites are then placed on the National Priorities List (NPL) and are targeted for long-term federal clean-up activities. Manganese has been found in at least 869 of the 1,699 current or former NPL sites. Although the total number of NPL sites evaluated for this substance is not known, the possibility exists that the number of sites at which manganese is found may increase in the future as more sites are evaluated. This information is important because these sites may be sources of exposure and exposure to this substance may harm you.

When a substance is released either from a large area, such as an industrial plant, or from a container, such as a drum or bottle, it enters the environment. Such a release does not always lead to exposure. You can be exposed to a substance only when you come in contact with it. You may be exposed by breathing, eating, or drinking the substance, or by skin contact.

If you are exposed to manganese, many factors will determine whether you will be harmed. These factors include the dose (how much), the duration (how long), and how you come in contact with it. You must also consider any other chemicals you are exposed to and your age, sex, diet, family traits, lifestyle, and state of health.

1.1. WHAT IS MANGANESE?

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fireworks dry-cell batteries

Chapters 4, 5, and 6 have more information on the properties and uses of manganese and how it behaves in the environment.

1.2. WHAT HAPPENS TO MANGANESE WHEN IT ENTERS THE ENVIRONMENT?

For more information on manganese in the environment, see Chapter 6.

1.3. HOW MIGHT I BE EXPOSED TO MANGANESE?

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industries using or manufacturing products containing manganese, mining activities, and

See Chapter 6 for more information on how you might be exposed to manganese or its compounds.

1.4. HOW CAN MANGANESE ENTER AND LEAVE MY BODY?

For more information on how manganese enters and leaves the body, see Chapter 3.

1.5. HOW CAN MANGANESE AFFECT MY HEALTH?

This section looks at studies concerning potential health effects in human and animal studies.

Further information on the health effects of manganese in humans and animals can be found in Chapters 2 and 3.

1.6. HOW CAN MANGANESE AFFECT CHILDREN?

This section discusses potential health effects in humans from exposures during the period from conception to maturity at 18 years of age.

1.7. HOW CAN FAMILIES REDUCE THE RISK OF EXPOSURE TO MANGANESE?

If your doctor finds that you have been exposed to significant amounts of manganese, ask whether your children might also be exposed. Your doctor might need to ask you state health department to investigate.

1.8. IS THERE A MEDICAL TEST TO DETERMINE WHETHER I HAVE BEEN EXPOSED TO MANGANESE?

Information about tests for detecting manganese in the body is given in Chapters 3 and 7.

1.9. WHAT RECOMMENDATIONS HAS THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT MADE TO PROTECT HUMAN HEALTH?

The federal government develops regulations and recommendations to protect public health. Regulations can be enforced by law. The EPA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are some federal agencies that develop regulations for toxic substances. Recommendations provide valuable guidelines to protect public health, but cannot be enforced by law. The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) are two federal organizations that develop recommendations for toxic substances.

Regulations and recommendations can be expressed as “not-to-exceed” levels, that is, levels of a toxic substance in air, water, soil, or food that do not exceed a critical value that is usually based on levels that affect animals; they are then adjusted to levels that will help protect humans. Sometimes these not-to-exceed levels differ among federal organizations because they used different exposure times (an 8-hour workday or a 24-hour day), different animal studies, or other factors.

Recommendations and regulations are also updated periodically as more information becomes available. For the most current information, check with the federal agency or organization that provides it. Some regulations and recommendations for manganese include the following:

For more information on regulations and advisories, see Chapter 8.

1.10. WHERE CAN I GET MORE INFORMATION?

If you have any more questions or concerns, please contact your community or state health or environmental quality department, or contact ATSDR at the address and phone number below.

ATSDR can also tell you the location of occupational and environmental health clinics. These clinics specialize in recognizing, evaluating, and treating illnesses that result from exposure to hazardous substances.

Toxicological profiles are also available on-line at www.atsdr.cdc.gov and on CD-ROM. You may request a copy of the ATSDR ToxProfiles™ CD-ROM by calling the toll-free information and technical assistance number at 1-800-CDCINFO (1-800-232-4636), by e-mail at vog.cdc@ofnicdc, or by writing to:

  • Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
    Division of Toxicology and Human Health Sciences (proposed)
    1600 Clifton Road NE
    Mailstop F-62
    Atlanta, GA 30333
    Fax: 1-770-488-4178

Organizations for-profit may request copies of final Toxicological Profiles from the following:

  • National Technical Information Service (NTIS)
    5285 Port Royal Road
    Springfield, VA 22161
    Phone: 1-800-553-6847 or 1-703-605-6000