Victory – Manganese Health Standard Preserved!

Just last week, we called for action to preserve Minnesota’s standard preventing excessive amounts of manganese in groundwater. The Minnesota Department of Health had announced that they were planning to repeal a rule limiting manganese in drinking water. Excessive manganese affects the nervous system, impairing intellectual development in children and resulting in Parkinson’s like symptoms in adults.

Nearly 30 citizens took action, sending comments to the Minnesota Department of Health opposing the repeal. Citizen comments included an article published on line by Environmental Health Perspectives in September 2010, demonstrating significant intellectual impairment in school-aged children exposed to elevated levels of manganese in drinking water. Manganese Harm to School-Aged Children, September 2010.

As a result of citizen opposition and the new research brought to their attention by the public, the Minnesota Health Department staff members reconsidered their decision to repeal Minnesota’s rule limiting manganese in groundwater to 100 ug/L.

As reported by Minnesota Public Radio, MPR Manganese News, this health-based standard is safe, for now. However, the Health Department may study the manganese rule again next year, so we need to keep paying attention to public health and the integrity of public process.

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