MANGANESE (MN), along with iron and the main hard water minerals magnesium and calcium, are commonly found in Topsfield. The following reviews what manganese is and how to remove it from your water. (see section below on removing dissolved & particulate forms of manganese)
MANGANESE, THE GOOD & THE BAD
Manganese is a mineral that, in very small amounts, is essential for proper functioning of the human body. It is a trace mineral present in the human body in small quantities, primarily in the bones, liver, kidneys and pancreas. Manganese is important in connective tissues, in the formation of bones and blood-clotting factors. It is also involved in fat and carbohydrate metabolism, calcium absorption and blood sugar regulation. In addition, manganese is important for brain and nerve function. However, in higher concentrations, as you will read below, it can also cause staining and potential health problems.
There are two forms of manganese in the environment: Inorganic and organic compounds. Inorganic MN compounds are used in the production of steel, batteries, ceramics and dietary supplements. These MN compounds are also generated as combustion products from motor vehicles and coal-burning industrial plants. Organic MN compounds are used in some pesticides, fertilizers and in a gasoline additive called Methylcyclopentadienyl manganese tricarbonyl (MMT). Manganese compounds can be present as dust particles in the air and dissolved in groundwater or drinking water
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), manganese at very high levels can pose a neurotoxic risk. Exposure to high concentrations of manganese over the course of several years has been associated with toxicity to the nervous system, producing a syndrome that resembles Parkinsonism. This type of effect may be more likely to occur in the elderly.
REMOVING DISSOLVED & PARTICULATE MANGANESE
A water softener is effective in removing dissolved forms of manganese, iron and hardness minerals. To remove particulate iron or manganese, a cartridge filter with proper micron rating will be effective. Depending on the specific situation, this could require a series of filters with different size micron ratings to handle heavier levels in the water. Selecting the appropriate micron rating and style of filter can be determined by a water treatment professional based on water test results and other symptoms. For more on hard water, see link at hard water epa.
Higher risks for children
Children are considered to be particularly susceptible to possible effects of high levels of manganese exposure because they absorb more and excrete less of the mineral than adults. This adds up to a greater potential for exposure in the very young. Since manganese’s effects on the developing nervous system have not been adequately studied, it is especially prudent for pregnant women and young children to have drinking water that is below the manganese EPA action level.
ATSDR reports several studies that showed decreased ability in neuro-behavioral performance testing and in several educational parameters in children exposed to high level of MN in drinking water and diet for several years.
For a complete article written on the topic of manganese published in Water Technology Magazine that we had published, see the link at https://h2opublications/ and then click on the article titled, “Manganese, The Good For You, Bad For You Mineral”
OTHER AFFECTS OF MANGANESE IN WATER, IRON, AND HARDNESS
Some of the affects of these contaminants include corrosion and scaling inside pipes, major staining throughout the home’s showers, bathtubs, and sinks and destruction of hot water heaters way ahead of their useful life. Without water softening, hard water scale can also build-up inside hot water heaters insulating the temperature sensor inside the tank causing them to work much harder to bring the temperature up to the set level. This will reduce the useful life of your hot water heater and require early replacement.