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Neuropsychological effects of low-level manganese exposure in welders.

Authors
Laohaudomchok-W; Lin-X; Herrick-RF; Fang-SC; Cavallari-JM; Shrairman-R; Landau-A; Christiani-DC; Weisskopf-MG
Source
Neurotoxicology 2011 Mar; 32(2):171-179
NIOSHTIC No.
20038764
Abstract
While the neuropsychological effects of high manganese (Mn) exposure in occupational settings are well known, the effects of lower levels of exposure are less understood. In this study, we investigated the neuropsychological effects of lower level occupational Mn exposure in 46 male welders (mean age=37.4, S.D.=11.7 years). Each welders' cumulative Mn exposure indices (Mn-CEI) for the past 12 months and total work history Mn exposure were constructed based on air Mn measurements and work histories. The association between these exposure indices and performance on cognitive, motor control, and psychological tests was examined. In addition, among a subset of welders (n=24) who completed the tests both before and after a work shift, we examined the association between cross-shift Mn exposure assessed from personal monitoring and acute changes in test scores. Mn exposures in this study (median=12.9 g/m) were much lower, as compared to those observed in other similar studies. Increasing total Mn-CEI was significantly associated with slower reaction time on the continuous performance test (CPT; p<0.01), as well as worse mood for several scales on the Profile of Mood States (POMS; confused, tired, and a composite of tired and energetic, all p < / = 0.03). Increasing Mn-CEI over the previous 12 months was significantly associated with worse mood on the sad, tense, and confused POMS scales (all p < / = 0.03) and the association with worse CPT performance approached significance (p=0.10). Higher Mn exposure over the course of a workday was associated with worse performance on the CPT test across the day (p=0.06) as well as declines in fine motor control over the work-shift (p=0.04), adjusting for age and time between the 2 tests. Our study suggests that even at relatively low Mn exposure levels neuropsychological effects may manifest particularly with respect to attention, mood, and fine motor control.
Keywords
Construction; Construction-industry; Construction-workers; Construction-equipment; Welders; Welding; Welding-equipment; Manganese-compounds; Neurological-reactions; Neurotoxic-effects; Psychological-factors; Psychological-effects; Exposure-assessment; Exposure-levels; Men; Neuromotor-function; Mental-processes; Psychological-testing; Performance-capability; Reaction-rates; Work-intervals; Worker-health; Mental-fatigue; Attitude; Fumes; Author Keywords: Manganese; Low-level manganese exposure; Welding fumes; Welders; Neuropsychological effects; Neurotoxic effects
Contact
Wisanti Laohaudomchok, Department of Environmental Health/EOME Program, Harvard School of Public Health, Landmark Center, 3rd Floor-East, 401 Park Dr., Boston, MA 02215, USA
CODEN
NRTXDN
CAS No.
7439-96-5
Publication Date
20110301
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
wisanti@post.harvard.edu
Funding Type
Grant; Construction; Cooperative Agreement
Fiscal Year
2011
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-OH-009762; Grant-Number-T42-OH-008416
Issue of Publication
2
ISSN
0161-813X
Priority Area
Construction
Source Name
Neurotoxicology
State
MD; MA; CO
Performing Organization
CPWR - The Center for Construction Research and Training, Silver Spring, Maryland
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