Reducing Manganese Risk

Workplace standards exist to protect people from toxic and harmful substances that can result in irreversible health damage. Manganese has been linked to cancer hazards, reproductive hazards, parkinsonism, Parkinson’s disease, and Wilson’s disease. Understanding your workplace health risks is important in being able to recognize signs of manganese poisoning, or any other health condition that can occur as a result of manganese poisoning.

Exposure to substances, such as manganese, should be routinely evaluated by collecting samples. OSHA workplace manganese exposure limit is 5mg/m3 and cannot legally be exceeded at any time. The ACGIH recommended airborne exposure limit is 5 mg/m3 as manganese for dust and compounds with a recommended airborne exposure limit at 1 mg/m3 as manganese for fume averaged over an 8-hour workshift and 3 mg/m3 as manganese for fume as a short term exposure limit.

In a workplace area containing manganese, enclose any operation that is possible and use a local exhaust ventilation at the manganese release site. Respirators should be used in the event that a local exhaust ventilation is not used as the manganese site. Workers should protect their skin with work clothing that will not expose them to direct contact with manganese. The protective work clothing should not be transported home and risk bringing the manganese into homes. Immediately wash at the end of the workday.

If a manganese spill occurs the workers should know how to properly handle this emergency situation or immediately contact someone knowledgeable on how to deal with the risk. All persons not wearing protective equipment in the area of the manganese spill or leak should be removed from the area until the clean up has been completed and it is safe to enter the premises. Anyone that comes in direct contact with the manganese should immediately takes steps to take away the direct risk.

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