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Am Ind Hyg Assoc J. 1994 Jan;55(1):53-8.

Occupational and environmental exposure of garage workers and taxi drivers to airborne manganese arising from the use of methylcyclopentadienyl manganese tricarbonyl in unleaded gasoline.

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Département de médecine du travail et d'hygiène du milieu, Université de Montréal, Quebec, Canada.


Occupational and environmental exposure to airborne manganese has been measured for two groups of workers in Montreal, taxi drivers and garage mechanics. In Canada methylcyclopentadienyl manganese tricarbonyl (MMT) has replaced lead as an anti-knock agent in gasoline and represents a potentially important source of manganese contamination for the population in general and for the two chosen groups of workers in particular. Twenty workers (10 taxi drivers and 10 garage mechanics) wore a personal air sampler for five consecutive working days and two off-work periods. The amount of total Mn on each filter was determined by neutron activation analysis and then converted to atmospheric Mn concentrations. The values obtained varied from 0.004 microgram m-3 to 2.067 micrograms m-3. At work the garage mechanics were exposed to an average of 0.250 microgram m-3 and the taxi drivers to 0.024 microgram m-3. Off-work, the two groups were exposed respectively to an average of 0.007 microgram m-3 and 0.011 microgram m-3. In the garages there was twice as much Mn in the air on days when the doors were closed compared to days when they were left opened (0.314 micrograms m-3/0.152 microgram m-3). The levels found in this study remain well below the established limits for occupational and environmental airborne exposure. These results will lead to further studies to positively identify the source of Mn as MMT and to explore other pathways leading to the contamination of the general population.

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