Ottawa, Canada

2015, October 14-15

Background

The International Manganese Institute (IMnI) launched an ambitious 5-Year Plan in 2011 to cover scientific knowledge gaps regarding the impacts of manganese on human health and the environment. The 5-Year plan is now completed and has produced significant new research. These new studies were showcased at a dedicated symposium, addressing three major themes:

  • Recent Studies on Manganese
  • Manganese and Human Health
  • Manganese and the Environment

Symposium

The symposium which was attended by 57 scientists, regulators, industry HSE professionals and academics primarily from the Americas was a resounding success. Eighteen different manganese-related research initiatives were presented, along with 3 panel discussions and 3 keynote speeches – one per theme.

Industry

Industry was represented by Afton Chemical Corp., Autlan, Carus Corporation, Elkem, Eramet, OFZ as well as the US lobbying association, Manganese Interest Group (MIG) and the Canadian consulting firm, Temple Scott Associates. Members of the IMnI team were also present.

Academia

From academia, representatives from the following institutions were present to hear first-hand some of the novel findings in the research developed under the OHES 5 Year Plan:

  • Albert Einstein College of Medicine, USA
  • The Hamner Institute of Health Sciences, USA
  • University of Cincinnati, College of Medicine, USA
  • University of Hasselt, Belgium
  • Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium
  • Universidad Nacional Autonoma de México (UNAM)
  • University of Ottawa, Canada
  • University of Toronto, Canada

Regulators:

Some of the world’s leading regulators were present to listen and share some of their ideas via presentations and panel of discussions:

  • Environment Australia
  • Health Canada
  • Environment Canada
  • US Environment Protection Agency (EPA)
  • UK Health and Safety Executive (UK HSE)
  • Public Health Slovakia

Conclusions

The symposium provided a forum to showcase many top rate publishable studies that will improve the understanding of manganese toxicology and possibly encourage regulators to increase the reference values derived from environmental and human health risk assessments.

Summary of presentations and discussions are below