For humans, manganese is an essential trace element that plays a critical role in multiple bodily functions. Under physiological conditions, a stable level of manganese is maintained via tight homeostatic control of absorption and excretion.
However, exceeded exposure results in a manganese accumulation in the brain and causes neurological dysfunctions.
Due to the tight homeostatic control, the total manganese concentration in the blood does not reflect airborne manganese exposures in the range of the current occupational exposure limit. At the moment, there is no suitable biomarker for the evaluation of protection measures.
In this project workers' exposures to welding fumes containing manganese is examined. Workplace measurements and biological monitoring will be conducted. Beside the total manganese concentration, the concentration of manganese species in body fluids will be determined to identify a suitable biomarker.
Unit 4.2 "Health Surveillance, Biological Monitoring"