Welders may be exposed to high amounts of manganese (Mn). In this study 63 welders and 65 referents were followed up with neurobehavioral tests approximately 6 years after the initial examination at baseline. The welders were exposed to the geometric mean (GM) Mn concentration of 116 μg/m3 at baseline and 148 μg/m3 at follow-up. Their mean duration of employments as welders was 19.5 years at follow-up. Being exposed as a welder was associated with a decline between baseline and follow-up in the performance on the Static Steadiness Test, Finger Tapping Test and Grooved Pegboard Test. However, the decline was also associated with having high concentrations of carbohydrate deficient transferrin in serum (sCDT), indicating high alcohol consumption. When subjects with sCDT above the upper reference limit of the laboratory (≥1.7%) were excluded from the analyses, no difference in the decline in performance was observed between welders and referents for any of the applied neurobehavioral tests. Three welders had developed bradykinesia at follow-up, as assessed by a substantial decline in their Finger Tapping Test performance. They had also experienced a severe decline in Foot Tapping, Grooved Pegboard and Postural Sway Test scores (while blindfolded), while postural tremor as assessed with the CATSYS...

Ellingsen, Dag; Chashchin, Maxim; Bast-Pettersen, Rita; Zibarev, Evgenji; Thomassen, Yngvar; Chashchin, Valery
Neurotoxicology 47: 8–16
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