Sep 01

Dangers Of Manganese In Drinking Water

Children’s Intellectual Abilities Affected By Manganese In Drinking Water

Montreal – A study that looked at manganese in drinking water in eight different Quebec communities found that increased levels of the mineral resulted in a measurable decrease in the intellect of children who drank the water.

Key researcher, Dr. Maryse Bouchard, and eight other Canadian colleagues who worked on the project, are calling on the government of Canada to set new guidelines for manganese in drinking water because the levels of manganese they measured in groundwater during the study were below the maximum levels currently allowed. The authors also say the study should be duplicated in other communities.

Published in the journal, Environmental Health Perspectives on Monday, the study, Intellectual Impairment in School-Age Children Exposed to Manganese from Drinking Water examined the link between manganese, groundwater and children’s intellect; finding a very strong correlation. The research results are free to access and are available as a pdf.

In a press release announcing the report, the researchers stated

“… children exposed to high concentrations of manganese in drinking water performed less well in tests of intellectual skills that children are less exposed.

… The neurotoxic effects of manganese exposure are well known in the workplace. Present in the soil, this metal is also found naturally in groundwater. Several regions in Quebec, Canada and around the world have naturally high levels of manganese in the groundwater. Are there dangers? What may be its effect on children’s health? This is the first study to focus on potential risks of exposure to manganese in drinking water in North America.”

After accounting for manganese from food, the ingestion of other metals found in the drinking water, and many other factors that might impact findings, such as maternal depression and smoking; the researchers noted the association between levels of manganese from groundwater and intellect held. Most alarmingly, the study found

“… a very significant reduction of intelligence quotient (IQ) of children has been observed in connection with the presence of manganese in drinking water, and that at concentrations of manganese currently considered low, and without risk to health.”

The impacts of those low levels of maganese were quite striking.

“The children in whom the concentration of manganese in water was 20% in the highest had an average IQ of 6 points lower than children whose water does not contain manganese.”

The researchers also concluded that humans metabolize manganese from water differently than from food.

Small amounts of manganese, like many other metals, are needed for human health, but too much manganese can create a host of health problems. Too much manganese becomes a neurotoxin for the human brain.

Some municipalities already filter out metals from drinking water. For those living in communities that do not filter out metals, study co-author Benoit Barbeau recommends

“… the use of filtering pitchers that contain a mixture of resin and activated carbon. Such devices can reduce the concentration of manganese 60-100% depending on the level of filter usage and characteristics of the water to be treated.”

The research project used hair clippings and water testing to determine how much manganese the 362 children, aged between 6 and 13 years, had taken in over time through drinking water.

Health Canada has estimated the average Canadian ingests, through a variety of sources, about 4.7 mg of manganese daily. Health Canada goes on to state

“… The Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) of manganese for Canadians has yet to be established. In a recent comprehensive literature survey of studies of manganese metabolism in humans, it was concluded that previous estimates for a safe and adequate daily dietary allowance for manganese (2.5-5.0 mg/d) were too low, and a new range of 3.5-7.0 mg/d was recommended for adults.(31) A statistical analysis of the metabolic studies showed that a daily manganese intake of approximately 5 mg is required to consistently maintain a positive balance.”

However, the Quebec study demonstrated that lower levels of manganese ingested through drinking water provided sufficient accumulation in children so as to impair with brain functioning. The researchers also noted that Canada has no guidelines for manganese levels in drinking water, and manganese levels are thus not regulated.

The report concludes

“Because of the common occurrence of this metal in drinking water and the observed effects at low manganese concentration in water, we believe that national and international guidelines for safe manganese in water should be revisited.”


 

 

Aug 31

Kermit, TX Residents Seeing Dirty Water Pouring Out of Their Faucets

by Anayeli Ruiz
NewsWest 9

KERMIT – It’s freaking some people out in Kermit. Dark and dirty water pouring out of their faucets. It looks so nasty people are afraid to use it. Some of our viewers wanted to know what was going on.  So we decided to track down the problem. As NewsWest 9 found out, the city says it’s not only normal, it’s clean.

“Dirty water. If I’m drinking that water, I don’t know what I’m drinking,” Resident, Rita Dominguez, said.

Fear is what many residents in Kermit are experiencing when they turn on their faucet. They are scared of what will come out.

“My neighbor across the way came over one morning asked me if my water was brown. When she draws out bath water or it comes out of the toilet, it’ brown and really dirty,” Resident, Anita Gloege, said.

City officials say the water is safe and clean, even though it may look dirty, it isn’t.

“Sure the water is aesthetically pleasing to look at, there is no health issues,” John Shepherd, Director of Public Works, said.

Believe it or not, the City of Kermit doesn’t have a filtration system. They only use chlorine to flush out the chemicals.

The water they have been getting lately has high levels of manganese and iron and when those are mixed with chlorine and it comes out as brown pigmented water.

“We have got iron and manganese in our water. We have always had it, it’s a common element for this area. You can’t see it until the chlorine hits the water to disinfect it. As soon as we disinfect it, they show up and precipitate and become visible,” Shepherd said.

Officials say the more water that you use, the more likely you’ll be to see the dirty looking water.

“Where the demand goes, usually more affluent neighborhoods, you pull harder on systems and pull that dirty water towards them,” Shepherd said.

The city normally flushes their systems once in April and once in October. This is to help clean and get rid of all the elements. In the meantime, residents will have to wait it out a little longer before they get the pipes flushed out.

“If I flush now, I will be flushing it again. Economics and the demand on the water system, I will be doing it again in 30 days. We’re still in a high demand, we have about 30 more days,” Shepherd said.

Some residents are not happy with the wait.

“It’s not normal. We pay for the water, they need to do something about it,” Dominguez said.

City officials say if you get dirty water, let it run for 15-20 minutes. If you continue to see the dirty water, call the city in Kermit.