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Urinary and blood manganese in occupationally nonexposed populations and in manual metal are welders of mild steel


To obtain reference values for blood and serum manganese levels, blood specimens were collected from 29 men and 36 women. Mn in blood showed a normal distribution; its upper 97.5% limit in blood was 0.38 μmol/l. Mn in serum showed a skewed distribution, which did not differ from the normal one after logarithmic transformation. The respective reference limit was 19 nmol/l. In both specimens, the levels of Mn were significantly lower in men than in women. To obtain reference values for Mn in urine, midday urine specimens were collected from 58 men and 96 women. Mn in urine also showed a skewed distribution, and the upper 97.5% limit was 38 nmol/l. The levels of Mn in blood and urine were statistically significantly higher in manual metal arc (MMA) welders of mild steel (MS) than in the reference populations. Five MMA/MS welders were subjected to a further study in which the ambient intramask Mn levels and urinary Mn excretion were monitored throughout a full working week. For two welders the correlation of Mn in urine specimens voided in the afternoon was good with the before noon Mn concentrations in the hygienic measurements; for the rest the correlation was minimal. Mn in diurnal urine specimens collected in six portions showed fluctuation if specific gravity or creatinine in urine was used to standardize for the urinary flow, but it was less evident for urinary Mn excretion rate. Our results seem to indicate that the measurement of Mn in urine or blood may be used for monitoring Mn exposure in MMA/MS welders only at the group level.

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Author information

Correspondence to Jorma Järvisalo.

Additional information

These results were presented in part at the 2nd COMTOX meeting, held in Montreal in 1983

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Järvisalo, J., Olkinuoral, M., Kiilunen, M. et al. Urinary and blood manganese in occupationally nonexposed populations and in manual metal are welders of mild steel. Int. Arch Occup Environ Heath 63, 495–501 (1992). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00572116

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Key words

  • Manganese in welding
  • Biological monitoring
  • Reference values
  • Urine
  • Blood