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  • Manganese and Tremors?

    Hey fellas... Just wanted to pick the collective brain here and ... well actually I think I'm looking for a little reassurance.

    So I've been stick welding since I was in 5th grade. I bought my first stick welder in 7th grade and have since burned many pounds of rod, although I don't do it for a living. I developed a bad habit of sticking my head in the plume to get a better view and I still sometimes do that. It doesn't help that I really like the way 6011 rod smells. What's worse, when I was in high school, I'd do quite a bit of welding with the garage door closed before opening it to let it air out and then closing it to weld some more. This was typically done in the winter time when it was too cold to just leave the door open all the time.

    Fast forward to now. I'm almost 31 but by the age of about 25, I started to develop minor tremors in my hands. I think it is just familial / intentional tremor (apparently my grandmother has always had a tremor, even when young) and I can usually stop the tremor or steady it enough to do very fine work (like re-balling BGAs and other small surface mount electronic work). I've also started rock climbing and mountaineering. I found that I'm much slower than most of my climbing partners on "class IV" terrain, which is basically just scrambling over rock rather than true rock climbing. It eventually became clear that I have very poor balance compared to some of my friends (can't walk on a railroad rail, for instance), which makes scrambling down feel very treacherous. Once I'm vertical and climbing on class V, I move very smoothly and can keep up or outpace them.

    Anyway, there is more and more evidence that even fairly small amounts of manganese can cause some pretty serious harm to the nervous system. Now I know most of the advice from the folks who are reading this will be "go see a doctor", and I did bring it up at my last physical. I didn't mention the welding though. He wasn't concerned. Maybe I'll bring it up again and mention the welding next time I go in for a physical but I thought I'd see what kind of experiences other people have had. Somehow it's more comfortable to believe that the (very minor) inconveniences I currently experience are the result of bad genetics rather than foolish choices as a teenager. Is huffing welding fumes very occasionally really that bad? Sure, I didn't have as good of ventilation as most professional welders typically enjoy these days, but I also wasn't welding every day. I might weld for a week straight and then not weld again for a month, so very low duty cycle compared to a pro.

    Of course, now that I'm older and wiser, I try to be much more conscientious about proper ventilation. I even stumbled onto a decent deal for a smoke extractor, which should help quite a bit I think.

    Thanks!

  • #2
    Originally posted by Fasttrack View Post
    Anyway, there is more and more evidence that even fairly small amounts of manganese can cause some pretty serious harm to the nervous system. Now I know most of the advice from the folks who are reading this will be "go see a doctor", and I did bring it up at my last physical. I didn't mention the welding though. He wasn't concerned. Maybe I'll bring it up again and mention the welding next time I go in for a physical
    Yes
    And say specifically that you have these tremors
    And that you did a lot of welding & breathing in the fumes
    And wonder if the tremor is a result of breathing them in because the fumes can contain all kinds of metals (including manganese, chromium, vanadium, nickel, ... ) and other stuff.

    You probably will have to spell out the welding-aspects to your Dr because your Dr is a Dr, not a weldor.
    Also mention the family history

    And whether it’s got worse, better, the same, ...

    Comment


    • #3
      Manganese is a rather minor component of "regular" welding fumes, but one can not rule out its effect completely. As already mentioned there is a whole rainbow of metallic elements in the fumes, some of which may be more harmful than manganese. I agree on the opinion that you should go see your doctor and tell openly about your suspicions regarding the cause of the tremors.
      Physicians can't read minds, so being frank with them shall speed up the process

      A few years ago there was a wave of clearly manganese related cases of damage to the nervous system of a number of people in my hometown. But these cases were not welding related, they were drug contamination related.

      Comment


      • #4
        This should have been discussed with your doctor but any prescription/illegal drug use of medications you were put on at some point in life? Alcohol use?

        On edit, I am not accusing you of drug/alcohol use and you don’t need to disclose your personal information to the forum.
        Last edited by oxford; 09-21-2019, 06:33 PM.

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        • #5
          Any heavy metal getting in your body can have some harmful neurological effects. Could be the manganese, could be any number of other elements being vaporized, but the bottom line is you need to bring up these specific concerns with a doctor. Doctors can only work with what theyre given, so if you dont tell your doctor about your welding habit, how is he supposed to know and advise you about any symptoms? Thats like going to McDonalds, talking about the weather at the counter for 5 minutes, then being surprised when you dont get a hamburger.

          Talk to a doctor, tell them about your symptoms and your specific welding-related concerns. Give them all the information you have, dont wait for them to ask for it

          Comment


          • #6
            Seem like Manganese is not considered that much risk even for more professional welders so I wouldn't lose my sleep over occasional welding. Nickel and Chrome are better known and proved problems.

            If you have family history of tremors I'd guess that is your reason.

            edit: new information seems bit different:
            https://safe-welding.com/manganese-i...nsons-disease/
            https://www.lincolnelectric.com/en-u...ding-fume.aspx
            Last edited by MattiJ; 09-23-2019, 09:37 AM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by oxford View Post
              This should have been discussed with your doctor but any prescription/illegal drug use of medications you were put on at some point in life? Alcohol use?

              On edit, I am not accusing you of drug/alcohol use and you don’t need to disclose your personal information to the forum.
              No worries! Good questions. The irony is that I'm sort of a straight arrow in that regard. I don't drink at all and never have, never smoked - certainly never used any illegal drugs. Closest thing to prescription drugs was being on Claritin allergy medicine when I was a kid! Shoot, I even avoid caffeine most of the time! And if I have caffeine, it's a half cup of coffee... I'm a lightweight

              Good advice from all. I'll talk to the doc next time I go in. It's not bad, probably familial. But a little reassurance would be good.

              Comment


              • #8
                Nowadays an MD probably won’t have much of a handle on this. Perhaps a DO and more likely an ND would be a better listener.

                A guy I worked with had symptoms of metals poisoning and an ND had him use a Bentonite based compound and EDTA to leach out the metals through his digestive tract.

                Sonne’s 7 https://sonnes.com/store/product-cat...entonite-clay/

                EDTA. https://www.swansonvitamins.com/q?kw=Edta+

                I knew a guy who drove dump trucks and went through urine substance abuse testing every couple months. Testing was always on a “random” Monday morning and bosses would tell them the previous Thursday afternoon to “Go easy on things this weekend”. This guy smoked pot and drank JD every night after work.
                He would stop everything when the bosses put out the word and do a Sonne’s 7 cleanse over the next three days. He never failed a test.
                Illigitimi non Carborundum 😎
                9X49 Birmingham Mill, Reid Model 2C Grinder, 13x40 ENCO GH Lathe, 6X18 Craftsman lathe, Sherline CNC mill, Eastwood TIG200 AC/DC and lots of stuff from 30+ years in the trade and 15.5 in refinery unit operations. Now retired. El Paso, TX

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                • #9
                  Very interesting post my history is a reflection of yours except the tremors and being twice your age I went to the Doc first initial diagnosis was the hip joint had to much running clearance in-spite of no pain so replaced hip joint to no avail control of limbs if it's not mechanical it's neurological Parkinson's so they test me out on pills that haven't had any effect as yet Parkinson's is very hard to diagnose as I don't have the tremors and not all the defining symptoms but the symptoms are also the same as industrial poisoning So I'm going to see yet again another specialist

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I have a good friend I have known for over 40 years. In his early years he did a lot of welding. He developed bad tremors. The tremors developed in his forties and progressed until his seventies. Tremors so bad he couldn’t drink water out of a glass without steading it with both hands.

                    In July 2019 he went to the Medical College of Virginia in Charlottesville. There he received some type of treatment where they focus ultra-sound waves on a part of the brain that caused the tremors. The treatment will focus on one side of the body (which side was his choice; he chose his strong hand side). The waves destroy the cells deep inside the brain that cause the tremors. His strong hand is now tremor free.

                    We also have a mutual friend, who in his twenties, went to the apprentice school for welding in the local shipyard. He became a welder for a short time. He is now in his sixties and has begun to develop tremors. I am not saying welding and tremors are related, but it is curious.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I never did a lot of stick welding. especially after I discovered MIG and TIG. But what I did for years was point my tungsten on my bench grinder, like most welders did.
                      I did have a dedicated grinder and wheel just for this as not to contaminate my electrode. Until........ one day I bought a pack of Sylvania tungsten and there was a warning on the box that said something like "caution contains thoria and can cause cancer" After all these years now they tell you. Since then I bought a pointer with a dust collector.
                      So, just how bad is breathing in the tungsten dust with thoria?? who knows.

                      JL.................

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by JoeLee View Post
                        I never did a lot of stick welding. especially after I discovered MIG and TIG. But what I did for years was point my tungsten on my bench grinder, like most welders did.
                        I did have a dedicated grinder and wheel just for this as not to contaminate my electrode. Until........ one day I bought a pack of Sylvania tungsten and there was a warning on the box that said something like "caution contains thoria and can cause cancer" After all these years now they tell you. Since then I bought a pointer with a dust collector.
                        So, just how bad is breathing in the tungsten dust with thoria?? who knows.

                        JL.................
                        https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/...tances/thorium

                        Were pretty set on how bad breathing in thorium is; very. It's mildly radioactive, not plutonium levels of glowing but it's still there. It's radiation is mostly the Alpha kind, which can't penetrate skin so it's somewhat safe to handle, but if it get inside you via inhalation, well, bodies and radiation don't much agree. Not a one exposure will kill you thing, but still not something that should be breathed in

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by epicfail48 View Post

                          https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/...tances/thorium

                          Were pretty set on how bad breathing in thorium is; very. It's mildly radioactive, not plutonium levels of glowing but it's still there. It's radiation is mostly the Alpha kind, which can't penetrate skin so it's somewhat safe to handle, but if it get inside you via inhalation, well, bodies and radiation don't much agree. Not a one exposure will kill you thing, but still not something that should be breathed in
                          Alpha emitters are pretty much harmless as long as they do not get inside of your system by either fumes, dust or soluble compounds like salts. Then the damage begins.....alpha particles are helium nuclei and therefore rather heavy in terms of subatomic scale, also they carry positive charge. Both of these properties make them interact with surrounding matter in a very strong way. This strong interaction prevents alpha radiation from penetrating into matter deeply and making shielding very easy, but it sure as hell can knock apart everything that lies in direct contact at close vicinity. Like the cells of your body when the radiation source gets inside.

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                          • #14
                            Welding fumes aren't the only source of Manganese. I have a friend from the northern reaches of Wisconsin, who is a regular on our morning amateur radio gathering. He started having neurological problems.

                            During a discussion of some plumbing problems he had with curious black deposits I suggested he check with the the water utility to get a water quality report. Turns out they were aware of the manganese in the water. They flushed the system and he changed out his filters. Elevated levels are a concern, and you might also have your water tested if you are on a well. If you are on city water you may get a strait answer, but ultimately you may have to test the water yourself.

                            see:
                            https://www.epa.gov/sites/production...dwreport_0.pdf

                            From the aforementioned report:

                            "The health effects from over-exposure of manganese are dependent on the route of
                            exposure, the chemical form, the age at exposure, and an individual's nutritional status.
                            Irrespective of the exposure route, the nervous system has been determined to be the primary
                            target with neurological effects generally observed."

                            He has gone to his doctor with the information and has added an RO system for his drinking water. RO systems present other problems. Make sure that you take mineral supplements to make up for the good trace elements that are removed by RO. Reverse Osmosis is a double edged sword...

                            see:
                            http://safewaterpro.com/best-reminer...verse-osmosis/
                            paul
                            ARS W9PCS

                            Esto Vigilans

                            Remember, just because you can doesn't mean you should...
                            but you may have to

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Have you taken any antibiottcs befre it started? Here's a guys story from taking 1 pill. If it gets worst get ALS ruled out, takes about a year & the worst way to go I can think of.

                              https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-03267-5

                              been having ear,balance and just feeling like crap since last spring,amoxicillin did nothing,so my doc gave me 750mg levofloxacin,the reviews were scary but a nurse friend talked me in to it

                              i took one pill,instant breathing problems,muscle spasms,tingling in left hand,went and got me some cheap magnesium to try and counter it,back to doc,he gave me another antibiotic,no issues,head feels better

                              numbness/tingling in left hand has spread to both feet,up the shins,and other hand(peripheral neuropathy),seems i developed a bad reaction to bread too,lucky compared to others

                              might go to the er tomorrow because the numbness/tingling has spread,might not,dr scheduled for next week,this very well could be life long and progress in many horrible directions,one pill could have doomed me



                              trust yourself and never take fluoroquinolones unless near death

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