ABSTRACT: Objective: To measure relationship between manganese (Mn) concentrations in working environment and in blood samples of workers and effects of Mn on the nervous system function of 56 dry cell battery workers. Materials and methods: The neuropsychological tests including the digit span forward test, digit span backward test, digit symbol test and stroop test, were administered to all workers. The Mn concentrations in working environment and in blood were measured. Results: The correlation between Mn concentrations in the working environment (Mean (SD) = 88.8 (109.0) µg/m3, range = 3-505 µg/m3) and in the blood samples (Mean (SD) = 0.17 (0.05) µg/100 ml, range = 0.11-0.33 µg/100 ml), and the neuropsychological test scores were statistically significant at p<0.05. Mn concentrations in the blood samples had negative correlations with digit span forward test scores, digit symbol test scores and stroop test scores. Conclusion: The job characteristics, health behavior, anxiety and mood stress scores were not associated with the neuropsychological test scores, probably due to low levels of Mn in the working environment and in the blood samples. The workers should reduce manganese exposure to a minimum.
*Department of Occupational Health and safety, Faculty of Public Health, Mahidol University,
**Department of Epidemiology, Faculty of Public Health, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand
***Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine Ramathibodi Hospital, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand