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Neurobehavioral Effects of Manganese Exposure Through Inhalation and Dietary Intake in Italian Adolescents

Lucchini, Roberto*; Albini, Elisa*; Bontempi, Elza; Zimmerman, Neil; Parrinello, Giovanni§; Zoni, Silvia*; Micheletti, Serena*; Ferri, Roberta*; Donna, Filippo*; Zacco, Annalisa; Borgese, Laura; Nardoni, Chiara*; Tagliani, Fiorella*

doi: 10.1097/01.ede.0000362856.95642.0a
Abstracts: ISEE 21st Annual Conference, Dublin, Ireland, August 25–29, 2009: Symposium Abstracts: Symposia Presentations

*University of Brescia, Occupational Health, Brescia, Italy; †University of Brescia, Chemistry Laboratory for Technologies, Brescia, Italy; ‡Purdue University, School of Health Sciences, West Lafayette, IN, United States; and §University of Brescia, Statistics and Biometry, Brescia, Italy.

Abstracts published in Epidemiology have been reviewed by the organizations of Epidemiology. Affliate Societies at whose meetings the abstracts have been accepted for presentation. These abstracts have not undergone review by the Editorial Board of Epidemiology.


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Background and Objective:

Increased parkinsonism was observed in Valcamonica, a valley in the province of Brescia, Italy. Prevalence data were higher in the vicinities of ferroalloy plants and associated to the concentration of manganese in deposited dust. The aim of the present study was to assess motor, cognitive and neurosensory functions in adolescents in the exposed area and in a reference area.

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Metals were measured in airborne particles collected with 24-hours personal samplers, and in salad sampled in local gardens. Samples were analyzed with Total Reflection X-Ray Fluorescence. Soil was analyzed at surface and 10 cm depth. Adolescents were recruited through the local school system for neurobehavioral examination and assessment of dietary intake of metals. Blood and urine samples were collected for metal analysis.

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A total of 303 children residing in an exposed area and a reference area participated in the study. Airborne manganese was 84.38 ± 89.65 ng/m3 in the exposed area and 22.79 ± 23.82 ng/m3 in the reference area. Lead, iron, zinc and chromium also showed significantly higher levels. Manganese results were significantly higher also at the surface and at 10 cm depth of soil and in salad. Exposure biomarkers were not significantly different between the two areas. Children in the exposed area showed impairment of motor coordination and odour identification associated with airborne manganese at multivariate analysis. Blood lead was inversely associated with IQ.

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Environmental exposure to manganese in adolescents is related to deficit in motor and olfactory functions whereas concomitant lead exposure is related to decrease of IQ.

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This work was partially supported by the EU through its Sixth Framework Programme for RTD (contract no FOOD-CT-2006- 016253). It reflects only the authors' views. The European Community is not liable for any use that may be made of the information contained therein.

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.