Welders, throughout their careers, are often more concerned with protecting their eyes than their heads. (Not such a bad thing.) But without trying to sound too cliché that workplace strategy is like having “a nice house, with nobody home”. This strategy will not protect against a more serious job injury … damage to the brain.
Excessive exposure to manganese fumes can result in a disease called manganism. Welders are frequently injured when tiny, infinitesimal airborne particles of manganese in the welding fumes enter the nose and mouth and are absorbed into the bloodstream where they cross the blood-brain barrier. Once in the brain, these brittle metallic elements play havoc with soft tissue, permanently affecting the brain, causing a variety of neurological injuries.
It’s important to remember that manganism develops after years of exposure to welding fumes. The symptoms often are delayed rather than being readily noticeable. So, when muscle movement changes and other bodily functions slow down, even after your working days are over, you and your doctor may not associate them with your past employment. However, even more troubling is that a person, with manganism, often will be misdiagnosed and told they have Parkinson’s disease or some other malady because a doctor may not know of that individual’s connection to manganese poisoning from exposure to welding fumes.
Symptoms of manganism may include: loss of memory, slowed cognitive response, slurred speech, loss of body coordination, tremors, shaking, poor balance, difficulty walking, difficulty writing and trouble with swallowing or eating.
If you have ever been a welder and have had the above symptoms, welding fumes may have caused you harm. You may wish to obtain more information. Our firm represents current and former welders. We understand manganism. There is no cost to you for an initial phone consultation. The Sharpe Law Firm wants you to know that you have legal rights.
Workers’ Compensation … It’s our thing.