October 24, 2013

Does Manganese in Drinking Water Affect Pregnancy?

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued an advisory on manganese in drinking water and the steps they are taking to better address manganese in public drinking water supplies. Manganese is a common naturally occurring mineral found in rocks, soil, groundwater and surface water. It is also an essential trace mineral necessary for proper metabolism, immune system function, digestion, bone strength, and as a cofactor in many enzymes. Some preliminary studies, however, suggest exposure to elevated levels of manganese in drinking water may be associated with behavioral and neurological effects in infants and children. There is no correlation between manganese levels in water and manganese levels in breast milk. However, Does manganese in drinking water affect pregnancy?What effect elevated levels may have on women attempting pregnancy or who are pregnant are unknown.

Manganese levels above EPA standards (0.3mg/L) have been detected in some drinking water sources in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, elsewhere in New England and in California. For questions on public drinking water systems and Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection efforts to determine manganese levels for all public drinking water supplies, contact the Mass DEP Drinking Water Program.

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Joseph A. Hill, III, M.D.

Joseph A. Hill, III, M.D. Board-Certified in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility