[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Beryllium metal and beryllium oxide are important industrial materials used in a variety of applications in the electronics, nuclear energy, and aerospace industries. These materials are highly toxic, they must be disposed of with care, and exposed workers need to be protected. Recently, a new analytical method was developed that uses dilute ammonium bifluoride for extraction of beryllium and a high quantum yield optical fluorescence reagent to determine trace amounts of beryllium in airborne and surface samples. The sample preparation and analysis procedure was published by both ASTM International and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). The main advantages of this method are its sensitivity, simplicity, use of lower toxicity materials, and low capital costs. Use of the technique for analyzing soils has been initiated to help meet a need at several of the U.S. Department of Energy legacy sites. So far this work has mainly concentrated on developing a dissolution protocol for effectively extracting beryllium from a variety of soils and sediments so that these can be analyzed by optical fluorescence. Certified reference materials (CRM) of crushed rock and soils were analyzed for beryllium content using fluorescence, and results agree quantitatively with reference values.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Chronic Beryllium Disease Prevention Program Rule, 10 CFR Part 850 became effective in 2000 in response to the prevalence of Chronic Beryllium Disease (CBD) in workers. The rule requires surface and air monitoring for beryllium to determine exposure levels and the evaluation of the effectiveness of controls used to minimize or eliminate that risk. The most common methods for surface sampling use wet or dry wipes. Wipe sampling techniques may be impractical for many surfaces common to most buildings such as cinder block, textured wall surfaces, fabric and carpet. Vacuum sampling methods have been developed for the evaluation of lead or pesticides on residential surfaces such as carpets, bare floors and window sills. However, the current vacuum methods may be impractical for many workplace situations such as sampling of protective clothing, complex facility structures, or equipment surfaces. Recent work using vacuum sampling for potential bio-terrorism agents such as anthrax spores may have significant application to industrial hygiene evaluations of the workplace and may be extendable for use in sampling of metals such as beryllium. Validated vacuum sampling methods that provide meaningful data would be of great value to industrial hygienists in identifying areas having surface contamination, evaluating existing controls and work practices and determining the potential of toxic material on surfaces to become airborne and present a potential risk to workers and the public. This article discusses various vacuum sampling methodologies and recommends harmonization of sampling methods.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Beryllium is widely used in industry for its unique properties; however, occupational exposure to beryllium particles can cause potentially fatal disease. Consequently, exposure limits for beryllium particles in air and action levels on surfaces have been established to reduce exposure risks for workers. Field-portable monitoring methods for beryllium are desired in order to facilitate on-site measurement of beryllium in the workplace, so that immediate action can be taken to protect human health. In this work, a standardized, portable fluorescence method for the determination of trace beryllium in workplace samples, i.e., air filters and dust wipes, was validated through intra- and inter-laboratory testing. The procedure entails extraction of beryllium in 1% ammonium bifluoride (NH(4)HF(2), aqueous), followed by fluorescence measurement of the complex formed between beryllium ion and hydroxybenzoquinoline sulfonate (HBQS). The method detection limit was estimated to be less than 0.02 microg Be per air filter or wipe sample, with a dynamic range up to greater than 10 microg. The overall method accuracy was shown to satisfy the accuracy criterion (A< or = +/-25%) for analytical methods promulgated by the US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Interferences from numerous metals tested (in >400-fold excess concentration compared to that of beryllium) were negligible or minimal. The procedure was shown to be effective for the dissolution and quantitative detection of beryllium extracted from refractory beryllium oxide particles. An American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) International voluntary consensus standard based on the methodology has recently been published.