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ABSTRACT: An assessment survey of occupational exposure to beryllium (Be) was conducted in France between late 2004 and the end of 2006. Exposure estimates were based on the analytical results of samples collected from workplace air and from work surfaces in 95 facilities belonging to 37 sectors of activity. The results of this study indicated airborne Be concentrations in excess of the occupational exposure limit value of 2 microg m(-3) recommended in France. Metallurgy and electronic component manufacturing represented the activities and occupations where workers had the highest arithmetic mean exposures to Be. Surface contamination levels were also high and frequently exceeded thresholds recommended by different bodies. These results should prompt the development of prevention programmes that include Be substitution, process control and surface decontamination, in conjunction with suitable medical surveillance.
Annals of Occupational Hygiene 05/2009; 53(4):363-72. · 2.16 Impact Factor