1655b The usefulness of biological monitoring in determining manganese exposure in the workplace

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IntroductionExposure to manganese in the workplace is an occupational health concern, it is known that even at relatively low levels of exposure subtle neurological effects have been observed in workers (Baker, et al., 2014).Various biomarkers of exposure have been explored as a way to quantitatively estimate exposure to manganese, however, identification of a biomarker for manganese exposure has been elusive.This study involves a comprehensive collection of samples, conducted in several workplaces, in order to try and evaluate the usefulness of biological samples for in determining manganese exposures. Using optimised analytical instrumentation with low detection limits, the novel biological matrix exhaled breath condensate (EBC), as well as urine and air samples were collected.MethodsThree sites were visited each for a week to collect urine, EBC and air samples. A full occupational hygiene assessment was also undertaken at each site. At the first site urine samples were collected pre and post shift each day for a week, EBC samples were collected pre on a Monday morning and post on a Thursday afternoon. Air samples were collected Monday and Thursdays. At the other sites EBC and air samples were collected daily. The samples were analysed by ICP-MS. Other relevant elements such as nickel, iron, chromium and zinc were also determined.ResultsThe biomonitoring results from the first manganese welding site showed that there were higher manganese concentrations in the EBC and urine in grinders and welders compared to burners and office staff. There was not a good correlation between the air and biomonitoring samples and this will be more comprehensively studied in the next two site visits to be undertaken in 2017.DiscussionThis study suggests that biomonitoring for manganese may be useful in certain workplace scenarios and this will be explored further.

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