Studies show inhaled manganese risks

Manganese is a naturally occurring element that the human body can digest and excrete any excess. When the manganese is inhaled over a prolonged period, however, the body may have a different reaction. Pennsylvania readers may want to know that studies have shown the inhaled manganese has led to symptoms similar to those occurring to people who have Parkinson's disease. These include poor balance, tremors, muscle rigidity and slow movements.

There are a number of occupations that may expose a worker to air-borne manganese. Included in these are welding, mining and ore crushing. Workers in these jobs may want to take note of the risks of manganese exposure. Welders may also be exposed to damaging lead, iron, carbon monoxide, heat and stress. All of these may contribute to physical and neurological impairments in workers.

In addition to the Parkinson's-like symptoms, manganese accumulation in the body can be damaging to the central nervous system, liver, and lungs. Male workers may also face fertility problems following manganese fume inhalation and exposure. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, a division of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has issued standards on

respirator recommendations, exposure limits and first aid following unhealthy exposure levels.

When a worker is demonstrating symptoms of a workplace illness, whether from chemical exposure or not, he or she may want to take steps that could help to safeguard the financial stability of the family while the worker recovers. An attorney who has experience in workers' compensation law can assist such a client in filing a claim for the benefits that may be available, including the necessary medical care and treatment as well as a percentage of wages lost due to an inability to work for a prolonged period.

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