Cleaning Up Ashtabula
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Ashtabula is one of the most polluted county in the United States. Not exactly the kind of "We're No. 1," award you want to receive.
Within the city of Ashtabula there are three superfund sites. There is not just one chemical or pollutant. There are so many it will be tough to name all of them here. So we are going to start with one and gradually add to the list as our research continues.
The clean up process must happen and the perpetrators must be held accountable. The polluters are continuing to ignore the damage done to residents, paying their annual EPA fines like John D. Rockefeller tossed dimes to school children.
Manganese is the first pollutant you will learn about here. If you live in Ashtabula and fear you are showing symptoms of any of these conditions it may, actually, be Manganese poisoning.
Everyone is exposed to small levels of manganese (Mn), which is found in food and many types of rocks and then enters the air, soil and water. The human body contains approximately ten milligrams of manganese, most of which is found in the liver, bones, and kidneys. The Required Daily Amount for adults of both genders is 2.5-5.0 mg.But, at higher levels, manganese is toxic to the central nervous system and can cause learning and coordination disabilities, behavioral changes and a condition that is similar to Parkinson's disease.
Manganese is often considered a nutrient which is necessary for normal body functions as follows:
•Normal skeletal growth and development •Essential for glucose utilization •Lipid synthesis and lipid metabolism •Cholesterol metabolism •Pancreatic function and development •Prevention of sterility •Important for protein and nucleic acid metabolism •Activates enzyme functions •Involved in thyroid hormone synthesis
Manganism or manganese poisoning is a toxic condition resulting from chronic exposure to manganese and first identified in 1837 by James Couper. Chronic exposure to excessive Mn levels can lead to a variety of psychiatric and motor disturbances. Generally, exposure to ambient Mn air concentrations in excess of 5 mg Mn/m3 can lead to Mn-induced symptoms.
In initial stages of manganism, neurological symptoms consist of reduced response speed, irritability, mood changes, and compulsive behaviors. Upon protracted exposure symptoms are more prominent and resemble those of idiopathic Parkinson's disease, which it is often misdiagnosed as, although there are particular differences in both the symptoms (nature of tremors, for example), response to drugs such as levodopa, and affected portion of the basal ganglia. Symptoms are also similar to Lou Gehrig's disease and multiple sclerosis.
Manganese poisoning has been treated successfully with chelation therapy.The current mainstay of manganism treatment is levodopa and chelation with EDTA. Both have limited and at best transient efficacy. Replenishing the deficit of dopamine with levodopa has been shown to initially improve extrapyramidal symptoms, but the response to treatment goes down after 2 or 3 years, with worsening condition of the same patients noted even after 10 years since last exposure to manganese. Enhanced excretion of manganese prompted by chelation therapy brings its blood levels down but the symptoms sometimes remain largely unchanged, raising questions about efficacy of this form of treatment.
Loss of appetite
Mask-like facial expression and monotonous voice
Hair Manganese Levels
Dark hair dyes can contain manganese and thus falsely elevate hair levels. In the case of extremely high manganese levels obtained from scalp hair, pubic hair should be tested as a control.