A new study suggests that showering in manganese-contaminated water for ten years or more could have permanent effects on the nervous system.

The study is the first to show the potential for permanent brain damage from breathing vaporized manganese during a 10 minute shower.

Although the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set 0.5 milligrams/liter as the upper limit of manganese advisable in water supplies, they never considered the danger of vapors of manganese emitted from taking a shower.

Everyone is exposed to small levels of manganese, which is found in food and many types of rocks and enters the air, soil and water.

However, according to John Spangler M.D., an associate professor of family medicine,"inhaling manganese, rather than eating or drinking it, is far more efficient at delivering manganese to the brain."

He further stated that "the nerve cells involved in smell are a direct pathway for toxins to enter the brain. Once inside these small nerves, manganese can travel throughout the brain."

Children, pregnant women, the elderly, and patients with liver disease are at highest risk from manganese toxicity. Some of these groups have developed manganese poisoning even at fairly low doses in their water supplies, Spangler said.

Children, pregnant women, the elderly, and patients with liver disease are at highest risk from manganese toxicity
-- John Spangler, M.D
Increased levels of manganese is toxic to the central nervous system and can cause learning and coordination disabilities, behavioral changes and a condition that is similar to Parkinson's disease.
"If our results are confirmed, they could have profound implications for the nation and the world," said Dr. Spangler

"Nearly 9 million people in the United States are exposed to manganese levels that our study shows may cause toxic effects."

Spangler and Robert Elsner, Ph.D., published their findings in the current issue of Medical Hypotheses, a forum for ideas in medicine and related biomedical sciences.

How the Study was Conducted

Elsner and Spangler obtained detail data from rodents to estimate human exposure to manganese during showering.

They found that after 10 years of showering in manganese contaminated water, children would be exposed to doses of manganese three times higher than doses that resulted in manganese deposits in the brains of rats.

Adults would be exposed to doses 50 percent higher than the rodents.

"Studies should be carried out among populations that have experienced high levels of manganese in their water supplies over long periods of time," said Spangle

source - Ronald Grisanti D.C.