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J Occup Environ Med. 2006 Feb;48(2):204-11.

Sensitization and chronic beryllium disease among workers in copper-beryllium distribution centers.

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1
Division of Respiratory Disease Studies, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1095 Willowdale Road, MS H2800, Morgantown, WV 26505, USA. mstanton@cdc.gov

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Little is known about the risk of sensitization and chronic beryllium disease (CBD) among workers performing limited processing of copper-beryllium alloys downstream of the primary beryllium industry. In this study, we performed a cross-sectional survey of employees at three copper-beryllium alloy distribution centers.

METHODS:

One hundred workers were invited to be tested for beryllium sensitization using the beryllium blood lymphocyte proliferation test (BeLPT); a sensitized worker was further evaluated for CBD. Available beryllium mass concentration air sampling data were obtained for characterization of airborne exposure.

RESULTS:

One participant, who had exposure to other forms of beryllium, was found to be sensitized and to have CBD, resulting in a prevalence of sensitization/CBD of 1% for all tested.

CONCLUSIONS:

The overall prevalence of beryllium sensitization and CBD for workers in these three copper-beryllium alloy distribution centers is lower than for workers in primary beryllium production facilities.

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