Beryllium contamination inside vehicles of machine shop workers
ABSTRACT 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 Î¼g/ftÂ² on workers` hands and up to 714 Î¼g/fgÂ² 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 Î¼g/ftÂ², 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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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 · 7.03 Impact Factor
Article: Toxins in Every day Life
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ABSTRACT: Hundreds of worker notification programs are conducted each year to communicate occupational risks to workers. However, few attempts have been made to evaluate their effectiveness and few have described how communication theories are applied in developing notification messages. We developed and assessed the effectiveness of a worker notification program at a beryllium machining plant. We compared self-protective attitudinal and behavioral responses among workers in two plants: (1) an intervention plant that received beryllium risk notification and (2) a matched control plant that did not receive notification. Workers receiving notification reported significantly stronger perceptions of threat and efficacy, more positive attitudes toward safety practices, and engaged in more protective behaviors than the workers at the control plant. This study demonstrates the utility of applying communication theories in the development of notification messages and the results suggest that mass presentations may be just as effective, if not more so, than one-on-one notifications. Am. J. Ind. Med. 37:205-213, 2000. Published 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.American Journal of Industrial Medicine 01/2000; 37(2):205-13. DOI:10.1002/(SICI)1097-0274(200002)37:2<205::AID-AJIM6>3.3.CO;2-V · 1.59 Impact Factor