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: Abstract The exposure-response patterns with beryllium sensitization (BeS), chronic beryllium disease (CBD) and lung cancer are influenced by a number of biological and physicochemical factors. Recent studies have suggested dermal exposure as a pathway for BeS. In light of the current non-health-based DOE Beryllium Rule surface criteria, the feasibility of deriving a human health-based surface dust cleanup criteria (SDCC) for beryllium was assessed based on toxicology and health risk factors via all potential routes of exposure. Beryllium-specific and general exposure factors were evaluated, including (1) beryllium physicochemical characteristics, bioavailability and influence on disease prevalence, and (2) chemical dissipation, resuspension and transfer. SDCC for non-cancer (SDCC) and cancer (SDCC) endpoints were derived from a combination of modern methods applied for occupational, residential and building reentry surface dust criteria. The most conservative SDCC estimates were derived for dermal exposure (5-379 μg/100 cm for 0.1-1% damaged skin and 17-3337 μg/100 cm for intact skin), whereas the SDCC for inhalation exposure ranged from 51 to 485 μg/100 cm. Considering this analysis, the lowest DOE surface criterion of 0.2 μg/100 cm is conservative for minimizing exposure and potential risks associated with beryllium-contaminated surfaces released for non-beryllium industrial or public sector use. Although methodological challenges exist with sampling and analysis procedures, data variability and interpretation of surface dust information in relation to anthropogenic and natural background concentrations, this evaluation should provide useful guidance with regard to cleanup of manufacturing equipment or remediation of property for transfer to the general public or non-beryllium industrial facilities.Critical Reviews in Toxicology 03/2013; 43(3):220-43. · 6.25 Impact Factor
Article: Toxins in Every day Life
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ABSTRACT: Beryllium has been historically machined, handled and stored in facilities at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) since the 1950s. Additionally, outdoor testing of beryllium-containing components has been performed at LLNL's Site 300 facility. Beryllium levels in local soils and atmospheric particulates have been measured over three decades and are comparable to those found elsewhere in the natural environment. While localized areas of beryllium contamination have been identified, laboratory operations do not appear to have increased the concentration of beryllium in local air or water. Variation in airborne beryllium correlates to local weather patterns, PM10 levels, normal sources (such as resuspension of soil and emissions from coal power stations) but not to LLNL activities. Regional and national atmospheric beryllium levels have decreased since the implementation of the EPA's 1990 Clean-Air-Act. Multi-element analysis of local soil and air samples allowed for the determination of comparative ratios for beryllium with over 50 other metals to distinguish between natural beryllium and process-induced contamination. Ten comparative elemental markers (Al, Cs, Eu, Gd, La, Nd, Pr, Sm, Th and Tl) that were selected to ensure background variations in other metals did not collectively interfere with the determination of beryllium sources in work-place samples at LLNL. Multi-element analysis and comparative evaluation are recommended for all workplace and environmental samples suspected of beryllium contamination. The multi-element analyses of soils and surface dusts were helpful in differentiating between beryllium of environmental origin and beryllium from laboratory operations. Some surfaces can act as "sinks" for particulate matter, including carpet, which retains entrained insoluble material even after liquid based cleaning. At LLNL, most facility carpets had beryllium concentrations at or below the upper tolerance limit determined by sampling facilities with no history of beryllium work. Some facility carpets had beryllium concentrations above the upper tolerance limits but can be attributed to tracking of local soils, while other facilities showed process-induced contamination from adjacent operations. In selected cases, distinctions were made as to the source of beryllium in carpets. Guidance on the determination of facility beryllium sources is given.Science of The Total Environment 09/2012; 437:373-83. · 3.16 Impact Factor