Beryllium Contamination Inside Vehicles of Machine Shop Workers

Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluations, and Field Studies, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 4676 Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45226, USA.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine (Impact Factor: 1.74). 10/1999; Suppl 1(S1):72-4. DOI: 10.1002/(SICI)1097-0274(199909)36:1+<72::AID-AJIM26>3.0.CO;2-Y
Source: PubMed


Inhalation of beryllium particles causes a chronic, debilitating lung disease--chronic beryllium disease (CBD)--in immunologically sensitized workers. Evidence that very low concentrations of beryllium may initiate this chronic disease is provided by incidences of the illness in family members exposed to beryllium dust from workers` clothes and residents in neighborhoods surrounding beryllium refineries. This article describes the results of a cross-sectional survey to evaluate potential take-home beryllium exposures by measuring surface concentrations on the hands and in vehicles of workers at a precision machine shop where cases of CBD had recently been diagnosed. Many workers did not change out of their work clothes and shoes at the end of their shift, increasing the risk of taking beryllium home to their families. Wipe samples collected from workers` hands and vehicle surfaces were analyzed for beryllium content by inductively coupled argon plasma-atomic emission spectroscopy (ICP-AES). The results ranged widely, from nondetectable to 40 μg/ft² on workers` hands and up to 714 μg/fg² inside their vehicles, demonstrating that many workers carried residual beryllium on their hands and contaminated the inside of their vehicles when leaving work. The highest beryllium concentrations inside the workers` vehicles were found on the drivers` floor (GM = 19 μg/ft², GSD = 4.9), indicating that workers were carrying beryllium on their shoes into their vehicles. A safe level of beryllium contamination on surfaces is not known, but it is prudent to reduce the potential for workers to carry beryllium away from the work site.

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    • "Progressors to CBD were more likely to have worked as machinists.[69][70] The highest concentration of beryllium is on the floor of the driver's side of such workers' vehicles, suggesting that beryllium is carried on the soles of workers' shoes.[71] "
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    ABSTRACT: This review describes the health effects of beryllium exposure in the workplace and the environment. To collate information on the consequences of occupational and environmental exposure to beryllium on physiological function and well being. The criteria used in the current review for selecting articles were adopted from proposed criteria in The International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health. Articles were classified based on acute and chronic exposure and toxicity of beryllium. The proportions of utilized and nonutilized articles were tabulated. Years 2001-10 gave the greatest match (45.9%) for methodological parameters, followed by 27.71% for 1991-2000. Years 1971-80 and 1981-90 were not significantly different in the information published and available whereas years 1951-1960 showed a lack of suitable articles. Some articles were published in sources unobtainable through requests at the British Library, and some had no impact factor and were excluded. Beryllium has some useful but undoubtedly harmful effects on health and well-being. Measures need to be taken to prevent hazardous exposure to this element, making its biological monitoring in the workplace essential.
    Indian journal of occupational and environmental medicine 08/2009; 13(2):65-76. DOI:10.4103/0019-5278.55122
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    • "In addition, certain downstream users are also known to be at risk, for example, dental technicians who file or grind prostheses containing Be alloy (OSHA 2002). In addition, Be delivered on clothing or contaminated motor vehicles could constitute a risk to family members not actually employed in the Be industry (Sanderson et al. 1999). CBD is generally recognized to be preceded by immunologic sensitization to the metal, a phenomenon shared with conditions related to a number of metals like gold, silver, nickel, vanadium, cobalt, chromium, and copper (Budinger and Hertl 2000; Lawrence and McCabe 2002). "
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    ABSTRACT: The pathobiology of chronic beryllium disease (CBD) involves the major histocompatibility complex class II human leukocyte antigen (HLA). Although occupational exposure to beryllium is the cause of CBD, molecular epidemiologic studies suggest that specific (Italic)HLA-DPB1(/Italic) alleles may be genetic susceptibility factors. We have studied three-dimensional structural models of HLA-DP proteins encoded by these genes. The extracellular domains of HLA-DPA1*0103/B1*1701, *1901, *0201, and *0401, and HLA-DPA1*0201/B1*1701, *1901, *0201, and *0401 were modeled from the X-ray coordinates of an HLA-DR template. Using these models, the electrostatic potential at the molecular surface of each HLA-DP was calculated and compared. These comparisons identify specific characteristics in the vicinity of the antigen-binding pocket that distinguish the different HLA-DP allotypes. Differences in electrostatics originate from the shape, specific disposition, and variation in the negatively charged groups around the pocket. The more negative the pocket potential, the greater the odds of developing CBD estimated from reported epidemiologic studies. Adverse impact is caused by charged substitutions in positions 55, 56, 69, 84, and 85, namely, the exact same loci identified as genetic markers of CBD susceptibility as well as cobalt-lung hard metal disease. These findings suggest that certain substitutions may promote an involuntary cation-binding site within a putatively metal-free peptide-binding pocket and therefore change the innate specificity of antigen recognition.
    Environmental Health Perspectives 12/2003; 111(15):1827-34. DOI:10.1289/txg.6327 · 7.98 Impact Factor
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