Health effects of manganese-Metalpedia
  • Health effects of manganese
  • Manganese - trace elements found throughout the human bodyThe human body contains 12-20 milligrams of manganese, most of which is found in the liver, bones and kidneys. This trace element is a cofactor for several important enzymes, thus it is essential to ensuring the health and well being of humans. The functions of manganese are as follows:
  • •Normal skeletal growth and development
  • •Essential for glucose utilization
  • •Lipid synthesis and lipid metabolism
  • •Cholesterol metabolism
  • •Pancreatic function and development
  • •Prevention of sterility
  • •Important for protein and nucleic acid metabolism
  • •Activates enzyme functions
  • •Involved in thyroid hormone synthesis
  • Required Daily Amount
  • Manganese:Required Daily Amount
  • Because manganese is an essential element for human health, shortages of manganese can cause adverse health effects. Manganese deficiency can result in the following ill effects:
  • •Ataxia
  • •Fatness
  • •Blood clotting
  • •Skin problems
  • •Lowered cholesterol levels
  • •Skeleton disorders
  • •Birth defects
  • •Reduced immune function
  • •Impaired glucose metabolism
  • •Changes of hair color
  • •Neurological symptoms
  • The sources of manganese
  • The sources of manganeseThe uptake of manganese by humans mainly takes place through food, the following fresh food groups (in descending order) being most important in manganese content: nuts, whole cereals, dried fruits, roots, tubers and stalks, fruits, non-leafy vegetables, meat, poultry products, fish and seafoods. Leafy vegetables also rank high on the list when expressed in dry-weight terms. And tea also has a very high level of manganese, about ten times that of cereals.
  • Although manganese is necessary for humans to survive, health problems will also occur when the uptake exceeds the normal level. Increased manganese intake can cause the following harmful effects:
  • •Mental confusion
  • •Ataxia
  • •Impaired memory
  • •Loss of appetite
  • •Mask-like facial expression and monotonous voice
  • •Spastic gait
  • •Neurological problems
  • •Impaired thiamin (B1) metabolism
  • •Reduced immune function
  • •Increased demand for vitamin C and copper.
  • •Long-term exposure to excess levels may result in manganese poisoning which can cause kidney failure, hallucinations, as well as diseases of the central nervous system.
  • Prevention of manganese poisoning
  • manganese toxicityManganese overload is usually due to industrial pollution. People who work in factories where manganese metal is produced from manganese ore or where manganese compounds are used to make steel or other products are most likely to be exposed through inhalation of dust and fumes. In order to prevent manganese poisoning, the following measures should be taken:
  • •In mines, dry drilling should always be replaced by wet drilling. Good ventilation is also necessary. Respirators should also be used in specific situations to avoid excessive short-term exposure.
  • •A high standard of personal hygiene is essential. Personal cleanliness and adequate sanitary facilities, clothing and time must be provided so that workers can take showers and change clothes after work.
  • •Workers should not eat, drink or smoke at the workplace in case their food or drink is contaminated by manganese.
  • •Periodic measurements of exposure levels should be performed.
  • •Workers should also attend regular medical check-ups at hospitals to monitor their health status.
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