There have been recent changes to manganese occupational exposure limits which may have an effect on various industries and industrial processes. Manganese is a grey-white metal resembling iron. Manganese is used extensively to produce a variety of important alloys and to desulfurize and deoxidize steel. Manganese is also in many welding rods and filler metals to promote hardness. Manganese oxide fume is formed when manganese metal is heated and reacts with oxygen in the air such as occurs during welding. One of the more recent ailments (identified by the National Institutes of Health (www.nih.gov) that can afflict welders is manganism, also known as welder's disease. Overexposure to manganese fume has been linked to weakness/lethargy, speech and psychological disturbances, paralysis, and tremors.
To help reduce the risk of adverse health effects caused by exposures to airborne materials such as manganese, the United States OSHA has established permissible exposure limits.