"Because the levels of manganese have not been monitored very much, it's hard to say whether these are high, low or average levels," Datta said.
Studies on manganese and human health, though, have shown the element to be problematic, Datta said. Toxicological studies have linked airborne particulate matter containing manganese to respiratory and cardiovascular health. Additionally, long-term inhalation of manganese has been attributed to manganism, an irreversible disease similar to Parkinson's.
Researchers also found that the samples of airborne particulate matter from residential neighborhoods near gas, electric and petroleum manufacturing and refineries showed the higher levels of total manganese than samples collected from around the industrial sites.
The researchers' study, "Use of X-Ray Absorption Spectroscopy (XAS) to Speciate Manganese in Airborne Particulate Matter from 5 Counties Across the U.S.," was published in a recent issue of the journal Environmental Science and Technology. It is believed to be an important study to show that the particulate matter toxicity varies by location across the U.S., and one of the first to identify manganese oxidation states in airborne particulate matters.
The study was funded by the Environmental Protection Agency.
Datta is also conducting a study on India's groundwater, which contains manganese and arsenic. The study includes Sankar Manalikada Sasidharan, a master's student in geology, India, and Sophia Ford, a geology undergraduate student, Wilson, Kan.
The Kansas State University team has found that if arsenic is present in the groundwater,
|Contact: Saugata Datta|
Kansas State University