Does environmental exposure to manganese pose a health risk to healthy adults?

Nutr Rev. 2004 Apr;62(4):148-53. doi: 10.1111/j.1753-4887.2004.tb00037.x.


Manganese is an essential nutrient that also may be toxic at high concentrations. Subjects chronically exposed to manganese-laden dust in industrial settings develop neuropsychological changes that resemble Parkinson's disease. Manganese has been proposed as an additive to gasoline (as a replacement for the catalytic properties of lead), which has generated increased research interest in the possible deleterious effects of environmental exposure to manganese. Low-level exposure to manganese has been implicated in neurologic changes, decreased learning ability in school-aged children, and increased propensity for violence in adults. However, a thorough review of the literature shows very weak cause-and-effect relationships that do not justify concern about environmental exposure to manganese for most of the North American population.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Behavior / drug effects*
  • Environmental Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Environmental Pollutants / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Manganese / adverse effects*
  • Manganese / metabolism
  • Manganese Poisoning / complications*
  • Nervous System Diseases / chemically induced*
  • Occupational Exposure / adverse effects


  • Environmental Pollutants
  • Manganese