Beryllium Testing Laboratory
Beryllium is a metal that is primarily used as a hardening agent in alloys. Its low density, heat stability and high melting point have made it of benefit to the aerospace and defense industries. However, beryllium dust or fumes produced during machining or manufacturing activities can cause sensitivity in some persons that may lead to chronic beryllium disease.
The Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) Beryllium Testing Laboratory is one of only four laboratories in the United States approved to perform the beryllium lymphocyte proliferation test (BeLPT), which is a key component to the beryllium screening process. The laboratory is certified under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Act (CLIA) guidelines and has been awarded the prestigious College of American Pathologists (CAP) certification.
Ideally, the test produces one of two results:
- If there is no increased growth in the white blood cells in the presence of beryllium, then the patient is not sensitized and the results are considered “normal.”
- If there is an increased level of growth (or proliferation) in the beryllium-exposed cells, the test is recorded as “abnormal.” Anyone who tests “abnormal” is offered a retest to double-check the results.
All procedures are performed according to the protocol specified by the U.S. Department of Energy.
BeLPT Process Diagram
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For more information, contact:
ORISE Beryllium Testing Laboratory
Toll-Free Numbers for Workers
- Beryllium Vendor Screening Program: 1.866.219.3442
- Beryllium Medical Surveillance Program: 1.866.219.3442
- ORISE Beryllium Laboratory accredited by College of American Pathologists
- Beryllium and Chronic Beryllium Disease fact sheet (PDF)
- Diagnostic Workup for Chronic Beryllium Disease fact sheet (PDF)
- Lymphocyte Proliferation Test fact sheet (PDF)
- DOE Web Site for Former Beryllium Workers Surveillance Program
- Beryllium Laboratory Receives Accreditation from the College of American Pathologists
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