Author(s): Lucchini R, Bergamaschi E, Smargiassi A, Festa D, Apostoli P
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Abstract A cross-sectional study was conducted in 35 male subjects randomly selected from workers of a ferroalloy production plant and exposed to manganese (Mn) oxides; the objective was to detect early signs of neurologic impairment. The subjects' mean age was 39.4 years (SD, 8. 4); the average exposure duration was 14.5 years (range, 5-29 years). A control group of industrial workers not exposed to neurotoxic chemicals and comparable in age and confounding factors was recruited. The intensity of Mn exposure was moderate, as reflected by airborne Mn concentrations in total dust averaging 193 [corrected] micro g/m3. Mn levels in blood (MnB) and urine (MnU) were significantly higher in the Mn-exposed workers than in control workers. A relationship (not found with MnU) was found between MnB and a cumulative exposure index calculated on the basis of air concentration and exposure history for each subject (r = 0.52; r2 = 0.27; P = 0.002). Psychomotor function scores were lower among Mn-exposed subjects. The Aiming score was negatively correlated with MnB in the exposed group. The olfactory threshold did not differ between the two groups, although it was negatively associated with MnU in the exposed group. The white blood cell count results were significantly higher in Mn-exposed subjects than in controls. These findings show that an increase in Mn body burden is associated with an impairment of motor functions, whereas the increased excretion of Mn is related to an increased olfactory perception. Changes in numbers of leukocytes could indicate possible interferences of Mn with the immunological system. Copyright 1997 Academic Press.
This article was published in Environ Res
and referenced in Journal of Antivirals & Antiretrovirals