SPRI Home About SPRI


Mangnacat, Mangan, Tronamang, Cutaval

SPRI Emission Reporting Threshold
10.0 Kg/yr Pollutant Emissions to Air
200 Kg/yr Pollutant Emissions to Water
200 Kg/yr Pollutant Emissions to Waste Water
This sheet is a generic summary, designed to give the reader a basic level of background information about the substance in question. Great care has been taken to represent as effectively and correctly as possible the broad range of (not necessarily consistent) information which is available from a variety of sources. The reader must accept therefore that this sheet has no legal status and cannot be relied upon in any legal proceedings. SEPA disclaims any responsibility or liability whatsoever for errors and omissions in this sheet.
What is it?
Under normal conditions, pure Manganese is a silvery grey metal. It displays properties similar to those of Iron, except that it is harder and breaks or snaps far more easily. Manganese is chemically reactive and breaks down when mixed with water. Magnetic properties of Manganese can be induced. Manganese forms a variety of compounds, some with important industrial and commercial uses.
What is it used for?
Manganese is added to many mixtures of metals (alloys), because it brings important properties such as strength and magnetism. Compounds of Manganese have a variety of uses: Potassium permanganate is an antiseptic and preservative solution and chemical indicator; Manganese chloride is used in the production of dry-cell batteries; Manganese dioxide is used to make matches and fireworks; and Manganese sulfate is used in the production of fertilisers. Compounds of Manganese (such as Manganese chloride) are also added to animal feed as an essential nutrient.
Where does it come from?
The most significant releases of Manganese to the environment are from metal processing facilities. Releases may also occur from other industrial facilities producing or using compounds of Manganese. Compounds of Manganese naturally constitute a significant proportion of the earth's crust and are found in soils, rocks and waters at relatively high levels (compared to other trace elements).
How might it affect the environment?
Manganese is naturally ubiquitous in the environment and at normal levels (from natural sources and small man-made releases) will not harm wildlife or plants. Indeed, trace amounts of Manganese are actually essential to the health of animals. However, Manganese has a tendency to accumulate in some organisms (such as shellfish) and plants (such as cereal crops and nuts) and this could lead to higher level - and potentially harmful - exposures further up the food chain. It is not considered likely that Manganese pollution has any effects on the global environment.
How might exposure to it affect human health?
Manganese and its compounds can enter the body by either inhalation of air containing manganese, ingestion of water or food containing manganese, or by dermal contact with manganese or products containing manganese. Inhalation of air containing high levels of manganese can lead to a range of adverse health effects. These include hallucinations, changes in behaviour, weakness, speech problems headaches, tremors, stiffness, balance problems and bronchitis. Exposure to high levels of manganese over long periods of time can cause impotence. It is not known whether the ingestion of high levels of manganese can cause symptoms similar to those described for inhalation. Reported effects have included weakness, stiff muscles and trembling hands. The level of manganese that can be adsorbed through dermal contact is negligible. The International Agency for Research on Cancer has designated manganese as being not classifiable as to its carcinogenicity to humans. However, exposure to manganese and its compounds at normal background levels is unlikely to have any adverse effect on human health.
What steps are being taken to limit the potential impacts?
Releases of Manganese are regulated through the UK Pollution, Prevention and Control (PPC) regulations. European Directives concerned with regulating levels of Manganese include that concerned with combating air pollution from industrial plants (84/360/EEC). At an international level, Manganese is regulated through the OSPAR Convention which is concerned with the protection of the marine environment of the north-east Atlantic Ocean.