Impact of air manganese on child neurodevelopment in East Liverpool, Ohio

Erin N. Haynes, Heidi Sucharew, Timothy J. Hilbert, Pierce Kuhnell, Alonzo Spencer, Nicholas C. Newman, Roxanne Burns, Robert Wright, Patrick J. Parsons, Kim N. Dietrich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Background: East Liverpool, Ohio, the site of a hazardous waste incinerator and a manganese (Mn) processor, has had air Mn concentrations exceeding United States Environmental Protection Agency reference levels for over a decade. Save Our County, Inc., a community organization, was formed to address community environmental health concerns related to local industry. Researchers from the University of Cincinnati partnered with Save Our County to determine if air Mn had an impact on the neurocognitive function of children in the community. Methods: Children 7–9 years of age from East Liverpool and its surrounding communities, were enrolled (N = 106) in the Communities Actively Researching Exposure Study from between March 2013–June 2014. Blood and hair were analyzed for Mn and lead, and serum was analyzed for cotinine. We used linear regression to assess associations between biological measures and IQ subscale scores. Results: Geometric mean blood lead (n = 67), blood Mn (n = 66), hair Mn (n = 98), and serum cotinine (n = 69) concentrations were 1.13 ± 1.96 μg/dL, 10.06 ± 1.30 μg/L, and 360.22 ± 2.17 ng/g, 0.76 ± 6.12 μg/L respectively. After adjusting for potential confounders, hair Mn was negatively associated with Full Scale IQ. Conclusions: Hair Mn was negatively associated with child IQ scores. Community partners were instrumental in the conception and implementation of this study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)94-102
Number of pages9
StatePublished - Jan 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the NIEHS ( R01ES016531 , R21ES021106 , and P30-ES06096 ) and NIH/NCRR 8UL1TR000077 . The funding agencies were not involved in data collection, analysis, interpretation, or writing of this manuscript.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier B.V.


  • Appalachia
  • Children
  • Community engagement
  • Environmental justice
  • Manganese

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (all)
  • Toxicology


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