What is Manganism?
Manganism is a central nervous system disease caused by manganese exposure, a toxic element commonly found in welding rod fumes. Symptoms of manganism resemble those of Parkinson’s disease, including slurred speech, trembling hands and an unsteady gait.
Can welding rods cause someone to have manganism?
Manganism is caused by long-term exposure to high levels of manganese toxicity, typically as a result of inhaling fumes or dust that contain the material. Frequently, people who work with welding rods, or near people working with welding rods, inhale fumes that contain poisonous manganese materials.
What is the connection between welding rods and manganism?
Welding rods contain a high concentration of manganese toxicity. When heated, the manganese in the welding rod releases toxic fumes that are inhaled by the welder and others who might be nearby. Welders show a higher-than-normal average of manganese exposure and, consequently, manganese poisoning.
I’m not a welder. Am I at risk for manganese poisoning?
Although investigation surrounding manganism has focused on welding rods, there are several other sources of manganese toxicities in the environment. On-the-job manganese exposure occurs mainly in mining, alloy production, processing, ferro-manganese operations, and work with agrochemicals. People living near construction sites, or other locations where welding rods are being used, may also be at risk.
What should I do if I am suffering from welding rod manganism?
Consult your doctor if you believe you may be suffering manganese poisoning. Make sure that your doctor is aware of the similarities between manganism and Parkinson’s disease. If you, or someone you love, has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s, talk to your doctor about the possibility of manganese exposure. Some doctors may not be aware of the risk associated with manganism. You may wish to consult a specialist who is familiar with manganism, its symptoms and its treatment.
Is there a test for manganese toxicity?
Yes. Doctors working with patients who have manganism can administer a test to determine the extent of manganese poisoning, as well as the likelihood that the illness is the result of manganese exposure.
Can anything be done to cure the health effects of manganism?
Not yet. The disease can, however, be managed to some extent; although, like Parkinson’s disease, there is no known cure at this time. Manganism is considered a chronic condition, in that it remains with the sufferer for the rest of his or her life.
What are my welding rod litigation rights on manganese exposure?
Courts have begun to award damages to those plaintiffs who can demonstrate that their health issues are the result of manganese exposure and toxicity.