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Manganese in drinking water: Study suggests adverse effects on children's intellectual abilities
Date:9/19/2010

This press release is available in French.

A team of researchers led by Maryse Bouchard, adjunct professor at the Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Biology, Health, Environment and Society (CINBIOSE) of the Universit du Qubec Montral and a researcher at Sainte-Justine University Hospital, and Donna Mergler, professor emerita in the Department of Biological Sciences and a member of CINBIOSE, recently completed a study showing that children exposed to high concentrations of manganese in drinking water performed worse on tests of intellectual functioning than children with lower exposures. Their results are published in the prestigious scientific journal Environmental Health Perspectives, in an article entitled "Intellectual Impairment in School-Age Children Exposed to Manganese from Drinking Water".

Manganese: toxic in the workplace but harmless in water?

The neurotoxic effects of manganese exposure in the workplace are well known. This metal is naturally occurring in soil and in certain conditions is present in groundwater. In several regions of Quebec and Canada and in other parts of the world, the groundwater contains naturally high levels of manganese. Does it pose a danger? What effect might it have on children's health? This is the first study to focus on the potential risks of exposure to manganese in drinking water in North America.

The study, carried out by researchers at the Universit du Qubec Montral, the Universit de Montral and the cole Polytechnique de Montral, examined 362 Quebec children, between the ages of 6 and 13, living in homes supplied by with groundwater (individual or public wells). For each child, the researchers measured the concentration of manganese in tap water from their home, as well as iron, copper, lead, zinc, arsenic, magnesium and calcium. The amount of manganese from both tap water an
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Contact: Claire Bouchard
bouchard.claire@uqam.ca
514-987-3111
Universit du Qubec Montral
Source:Eurekalert

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