Exposure to Manganese from Welding Rod Fumes?
Scientists at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri have discovered elevated manganese exposure resulting from welding rod fumes. Elevated manganese levels have been associated with Parkinsonism (like Parkinson’s disease) and manganism. A very serious condition, manganism has no cure. In some instances, the irreversible damage manganism causes to the brain can contribute to the mental and physical deterioration of the patient.
Generally speaking, welding fumes are considered harmful due to the chemicals given off when metals, such as iron and steel, are joined together by electric arc or flame. Presently, respiratory symptoms, pulmonary edema and lung cancer are common problems associated with welding. Under normal conditions of use, welding rods emit significant quantities of metal fumes and other hazardous chemicals like cadmium, nickel, carbon monoxide, ozone, and fluorides. Now under further investigation, manganese in welding fumes has been linked to the manifestation of manganism in welders.
Symptoms of parkinsonism and manganism include shakiness, distorted facial expression, loss of equilibrium, decreased hand agility, difficulty walking, joint pain, loss of short term memory, slurred/slow speech, stiffness in muscles and tremors. Men continually exposed to high levels of manganese in welding fumes may not be able to father children.
Welding rod workers usually do not develop symptoms of manganism unless they have been exposed for many months or years. When there is continued exposure to welding fumes, manganism can become progressively worse. Occasionally in people who are seriously disabled by manganism, their general physical and mental condition can make other illnesses worse and thus contribute to the final cause of death.
If you suspect that you or a loved one has been exposed to welding rod fumes and has experienced any of these symptoms, call our welding rod lawyers now at 1-800-THE-EAGLE (1-800-843-3245) or SUBMIT A SHORT AND SIMPLE CASE FORM HERE.