Manganese is a mineral found in nature that provides nutrients for various types of animals and plants. While this material may be useful to some organisms, excessive exposure can be very dangerous for humans. Long term exposure to manganese is known to cause manganese poisoning, or the condition known as manganism.
Who is at risk?
There are several different occupations that use manganese in the workplace:
– Railroad workers
– Steel workers
Under the Federal Employer’s Liability Act, Railroad workers are protected from the negligent actions of their employers which may cause them serious injury. Employers are aware of the dangers of manganese, but many choose to do nothing to prevent manganese poisoning or educate their employees on the dangers of the substance. If you have experienced manganese poisoning due to your working conditions, contact a lawyer immediately to discuss your legal options.
Exposure and Detection
Dangerous manganese particles enter the body through inhalation. Workers who work in close contact with the mineral are at the greatest risk of developing manganism, however, their families and anyone who lives nearby a railroad or factory that utilizes the material may be at risk.
If you believe that you have been dangerously exposed to manganese, see a doctor immediately. There are several tests that can be done to determine whether or not you have developed manganism. Testing for manganese exposure may include blood tests, urine tests, and scalp tests. Contact your doctor for more information on manganese exposure testing.
The Effects of Manganism
Long term exposure to manganese can cause the development of serious health problems. Dangerous levels of manganese work inside of the body to attack the kidneys, liver, and central nervous system. The symptoms of manganism are very similar to symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease. Other symptoms may include:
– Poor hand-eye coordination
– Respiratory difficulties
– Psychological problems
– Difficulty with speech
– Difficulty with facial expressions
A Lawyer Can Help
If you are a railroad worker and have suffered the symptoms of manganism, a skilled lawyer can help you to learn more about your legal rights. Under FELA laws, your employer is responsible for providing you with a reasonably safe working environment. If your employer has failed to do so, he or she may be liable for your injuries.