Manganese at Memorial Academy

This page last reviewed October 21, 2010


Manganese is an odorless, silvery, white, lustrous, hard, brittle metal and exists in many compounds. Manganese dust or powder is flammable, and it burns with an intense white light. In April 1993, under Assembly Bill 2728, Manganese compounds were identified as toxic air contaminants. However, Manganese has not been identified as a cancer-causing compound. Human exposure to manganese is through inhalation and ingestion. Short-term exposure to manganese may cause irritation to the eyes, nose, throat, and respiratory tract. Long-term exposure to manganese may affect the central nervous system, resulting in symptoms similar to Parkinson's disease.

Manganese and its compounds are used for railway points and crossings, wagon buffers, ceramics, matches, glass, dyes, welding rods, steel alloys, cast iron, dry cell batteries, inks, paints, rubber, wood preservatives, pesticides, and fungicides. The primary stationary sources of manganese compounds in California are ship-building and repair facilities, petroleum refining, and electrical services. The Air Resources Board (ARB)has also identified manganese in motor vehicle exhaust. Manganese naturally constitutes 0.085 % of the earth's crust and exists in minute amounts in plants, animals, and water.

Ambient Monitoring Results

Ambient levels of manganese are routinely monitored at approximately twenty sites in the California air toxics monitoring network. The statewide average concentration of manganese during 1998-2000 was 24 ng/m3 (10-9 grams per cubic meter), with values ranging from 0.7 ng/m3 to 200 ng/m3. Relative to the statewide average, the San Diego region was 35% lower for the same time period.

The ambient monitoring results at Memorial Academy are provided here:

  • A graph comparing the monthly summaries of manganese at Memorial Academy with historical statewide and regional levels
  • A table of summary statistics
  • Raw data in Excel format

Cancer Risk

Manganese has not been identified as a carcinogen.