Today is Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018

Department of Environmental Health

Communities Actively Researching Exposure Study (CARES)

The Research Study

Marietta Pilot Study, 2006

A pilot study of environmental exposure to manganese (Mn), lead (Pb), and chromium (Cr) was conducted October 27-28 and November 15-16, 2006 at the Washington State Community College. 

The study involved collection of a blood sample and hair sample. A small group of participants were asked to have a measure of their ability to maintain balance. During the November 15-16 study dates, we measured hand and arm tremor in participants between the ages of 18-70.

All biological samples were analyzed in the Hematology and Environmental Laboratory under the direction of Sandy Roda, Department of Environmental Health at the University of Cincinnati.

Overall, we enrolled 142 area residents into the study. Participants ranged from 2 years to 81 years old. The average participant was 44 years old.

The average blood manganese value was 9.2 µg/L. The average hair manganese value was 5.85 µg/g. The average blood lead value was 1.75 µg/dL.

In perspective

A gram is made up of one million micrograms. To put this in perspective, a teaspoon holds 24 grams or 24,000,000 micrograms. Although this seems very small, our body has an amazing ability to sense and respond to the presence or absence of chemicals in microgram measures.

The Marietta community is within the national average for blood lead values. Nationally, blood lead values are slightly less than 2 µg/dL. According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), blood manganese values typically range from 4–14 µg/L. Children tend to have higher blood manganese values than adults.