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Beryllium Exposure Studies and Testing

Beryllium exposure studies and testing

Beryllium is a metal used in many industries, including aerospace, defense and nuclear weapons production. Inhaling beryllium as dust or fumes from machining or manufacturing activities can cause sensitivity in some individuals that can evolve into chronic beryllium disease (CBD), formerly known as berylliosis.

CBD leads to the development of small, inflammatory nodules in the lungs called granulomas, which reduce the ability of the lungs to process gases and cause the patient to cough and experience shortness of breath. Other symptoms of CBD are chest pain, joint aches, weight loss and fever.

Workers who have been—or potentially could have been—exposed to beryllium should receive the beryllium lymphocyte proliferation test (BeLPT). The BeLPT serves as a key component to identify workers who are reacting to beryllium and who are at greater risk of developing CBD.

The Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) manages a comprehensive program for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to assess the health effects of DOE operations on employees exposed to airborne beryllium. The program encompasses:

Testing Beryllium Vendor Populations

Testing Beryllium Vendor Populations

DOE vendor sites that are no longer operating have tens of thousands of former employees who need medical tests related to their beryllium exposure.

Beryllium Registry for Active Workers

Beryllium Associated Worker Registry

ORISE collects data from 25 reporting DOE sites on nearly 20,000 workers, assisting DOE in the analysis of these data focusing on predictive indicators and risk management.

Beryllium Testing Laboratory

Beryllium Testing Laboratory

The ORISE Beryllium Testing Laboratory is one of only three labs in the United States that performs the BeLPT for current and former DOE workers.

For more information, contact:

ORISE Beryllium Testing Laboratory
Work: 865.576.3115

Featured Video

WATCH: Beryllium Awareness Video (15:10)

Toll-Free Numbers for Workers

  • Beryllium Vendor Screening Program: 1.866.219.3442
  • Beryllium Medical Surveillance Program: 1.866.219.3442

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