Eramet / Good Neighbor Campaigns

High Manganese levels in kids in East Liverpool linked to lower IQ


PITTSBURGH, PA — “A new study shows kids with higher levels of the metal manganese in their bodies have lower IQ scores. The study, published in the journal NeuroToxicology, looked at about 100 children between the ages of 7 to 9 in East Liverpool, Ohio. The town is about 40 miles northwest of Pittsburgh and has multiple industrial sources for manganese in its air. The metal is used to make batteries and stainless steel. Erin Haynes, an environmental epidemiologist at the University of Cincinnati, authored the study. Kara Holsopple talked to her about her findings.

Kara Holsopple: The school district there in East Liverpool requested the study. Why?

Erin Haynes: In December 2010, the Ohio EPA Division of Air Pollution Control published their report called “All Ohio Air Toxics Report.”  It was a statewide air toxics study in which they had placed air monitors across the state, and they were sharing the data publicly. This is where the manganese air data came to light, and that the levels of manganese in the air in East Liverpool were by far the highest of all the monitors that they placed in Ohio. So the school board asked if I would come to East Liverpool and ask the question, “Does the manganese in our air have any health effects on our kids?”

KH: And your study found that there is some correlation.

EH: Yes. We we did a pilot study first and then we launched the bigger project which we just published. And we did see an association between the level of manganese in the child’s body and then lower IQ scores. So the higher the concentration within the child, the lower the IQ.”

— Kara Holsopple, WESA 90.5

link to full interview