Manganese Exposure Linked to Manganism and Increased Risk of Parkinson’s Disease

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Manganese Exposure from Welding Fumes: Know the Legal Limits

The law sets limits on manganese exposure from welding fumes. You may not be in contact with more than 5 milligrams per cubic meter of manganese at any time during your work day. Your employer must check the air at your job site to make sure that you do not receive more than this legal limit.

Although 5 milligrams sounds like a small amount of manganese exposure, it may in fact be too high to protect you from manganism and the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease. One government agency, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), recommends a limit of 1 microgram or 5 times less than the current legal limit, while government hygienists recommend a limit of 0.2 milligrams or 25 times less than the current legal limit (Manganese Fume, OSHA). The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has said that inhaling manganese in amounts over 0.00005 milligrams (100,000 times less than current legal limit) may cause damage (Manganese Compounds, EPA).

We present these numbers to emphasize the importance of the following suggestions:

  • Know your rights and manganese exposure limits at work, but do not be lulled into thinking that you are safe from manganese–related diseases.
  • You need to be aware of the signs of any health problems related to manganese exposure. These include trouble balancing, walking, or moving. See the sections on manganism symptoms and Parkinson’s disease diagnosis for details.
  • Get regular medical check–ups and tell your doctor about your work background, especially any contact with welding fumes.

Please feel free to contact us for further information about manganese exposure. Our mission is to help workers who have been harmed by toxic substances. We have been successfully handling these types of cases for over 20 years, and are proud of our work history.