Information about Manganese.

Manganese is a naturally occurring mineral found in rocks, soil, groundwater, and surface water. Manganese is necessary for proper nutrition and is part of a healthy diet, but it can have undesirable effects on certain sensitive populations at elevated concentrations. The U.S. EPA and MassDEP have set an aesthetics-based Secondary Maximum Contaminant Level (SMCL) for manganese of 50 ug/L (micrograms per liter), or 50 parts per billion (ppb). In addition, MassDEP’s Office of Research and Standards (ORS) has set a drinking water guideline for manganese (ORSG) that closely follows the EPA public health advisory for manganese. Drinking water may naturally have manganese and, when concentrations are greater than 50 ug/L, the water may be discolored and taste bad. Over a lifetime, the EPA recommends that people limit their consumption of water with levels over 1000 ug/L, primarily due to concerns about the possible neurological effects. Children up to one year of age should not be given water with manganese concentrations over 300 ug/L, nor should formula for infants be made with that water for longer than 10 days. The ORSG differs from the EPA’s health advisory because it expands the age group to which a lower manganese concentration applies from children less than six months of age to children up to one year of age, to address concerns about children’s susceptibility to manganese toxicity.