Manganese is a silvery-grey coloured metal which is the 12th most abundant element found in the Earth’s crust. It is present in many foods including nuts, beans, whole wheat bread, brown rice and leafy green vegetables.
Manganese is essential in many chemical processes in the body including the processing of cholesterol, carbohydrates, and protein, therefore anyone with a deficiency in manganese must take manganese supplements. Manganese is also given to patients with osteoporosis and other bone conditions as it is essential for bone health and development.
However, manganese is also neurotoxic in large amounts. Manganese poisoning, also known as “manganism”, is a neurodegenerative disorder where patients will experience Parkinson-like symptoms. High levels of manganese have also been shown to cause ADHD and learning disabilities. Because of this, it is important to monitor the levels of manganese in drinking water to ensure that consumption does not increase to a point where toxic effects may occur.
Manganese can be present in drinking water due to industrial processes and burning fossil fuels. Manganese is released into the air via dust and then settles on surface water, ground water and sewage water.
The legislation regarding maximum levels of manganese in drinking water is usually for the purpose of drinking water taste and quality rather than an urgency to protect human health. High levels of manganese in drinking water can cause a bad taste and lead to staining of surfaces that the water touches.
The recommended limit for manganese in drinking water is 0.05 mg/L according to the DWI and US EPA. The FDA also recommends a limit of 0.05 mg/L manganese for bottled water.
Manganese is found in the earth’s crust. Manganese occurs naturally in surface water and groundwater as it leaches into the water from the natural rock. In surface waters, manganese can occur in both dissolved and suspended forms.
High levels of manganese in natural waters can mean it is adsorbed into surrounding soil. Manganese can be beneficial to plant growth but at extremely high levels it will become toxic.
Manganese is essential to iron and steel production and manganese dioxide is used as a catalyst. Because of this, manganese will be present in large amounts of industrial waste which could lead to manganese contamination in wastewater.
Manganese is a common ingredient in pesticides, meaning manganese can enter soil through pesticide use. High levels of manganese in soil can be toxic to plants. It can cause dark specs to appear on leaves and in severe cases plants will start to die from the outer edges in.
Palintest offer a range of solutions for measuring manganese in water; photometers are a well-known method. The Photometer 7500 is our top of the range photometer providing reliable water quality testing. Utilise a USB to connect your devices and manage data. Store up to 500 datasets on the Photometer 7500 for full traceability of results.
To measure manganese in soil the SKW500 Complete Soil Kit can be used.