Manganese exposure among smelting workers: Blood manganeseiron ratio as a novel tool for manganese exposure assessment

Dallas M. Cowan, Qiyuan Fan, Yan Zou, Xiujuan Shi, Jian Chen, Michael Aschner, Frank S. Rosenthal, Wei Zheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

52 Scopus citations


Unexposed control subjects (n 106), power distributing and office workers (n 122), and manganese (Mn)-exposed ferroalloy smelter workers (n 95) were recruited to the control, low and high groups, respectively. Mn concentrations in saliva, plasma, erythrocytes, urine and hair were significantly higher in both exposure groups than in the controls. The Fe concentration in plasma and erythrocytes, however, was significantly lower in Mn-exposed workers than in controls. The airborne Mn levels were significantly associated with Mn/Fe ratio (MIR) of erythrocytes (eMIR) (r 0.77, p < 0.01) and plasma (pMIR) (r 0.70, p < 0.01). The results suggest that the MIR may serve as a useful biomarker to distinguish Mn-exposed workers from the unexposed, control population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-16
Number of pages14
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2009
Externally publishedYes



  • Biomarker
  • Erythrocyte
  • Exposure assessment
  • Iron
  • Manganese
  • Mn-Fe ratio
  • Saliva
  • Smelter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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