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Beryllium is a lightweight metal with unique mechanical and thermal properties that make it ideal for use in many applications and industries including defense, aerospace, telecommunications, automotive electronics, and medical specialties.

Beryllium is a naturally occurring metal found in beryl and bertrandite ores. Beryllium and beryllium-containing alloys and compounds have been produced commercially in the US since the 1940s. Production of beryllium oxide began in the late 1950s.


NIOSHTIC-2 is a searchable bibliographic database of occupational safety and health publications, documents, grant reports, and journal articles supported in whole or in part by NIOSH.
NIOSHTIC-2 search results on beryllium

Four NIOSH Divisions have beryllium-related projects:

Beryllium Research Activities at NIOSH

NIOSH Division Activity
The Division of Respiratory Disease Studies (DRDS) Occupational respiratory disease (sensitization and CBD research efforts)
The Health Effects Laboratory Division (HELD) Molecular epidemiology and genetics
The Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluations, and Field Studies (DSHEFS) Lung cancer and other health effects
The Division of Applied Research and Technology (DART) Sampling and Analytical Methods

NIOSH Resources

NIOSH Alert - Preventing Sensitization and Disease from Beryllium Exposure
NIOSH Publication No. 2011-107
Contains information for employers and workers on health effects related to occupational exposure to the metal beryllium, current occupational exposure limits, case reports of epidemiologic studies, and recommendations to protect workers.

NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards
NIOSH Publication No. 2005-151
The NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards is intended as a source of general industrial hygiene information for workers, employers, and occupational health professionals. The Pocket Guide presents key information and data in abbreviated tabular form for 677 chemicals or substance groupings (e.g., manganese compounds, tellurium compounds, inorganic tin compounds) that are found in the work environment.

International Chemical Safety Cards (ICSC)
An ICSC summarizes essential health and safety information on chemicals for their use at the "shop floor" level by workers and employers in factories, agriculture, construction and other work places.
Index for the Letter B

NIOSH Topic: Respirators
Provides information about respirators, including selection of appropriate respirators, cleaning and maintenance information, certification information, and respirator standards.

Documentation for Immediately Dangerous to Life or Health Concentrations (IDLH)
NTIS Publication No. PB-94-195047
This publication documents the criteria and information sources that have been used by NIOSH to determine immediately dangerous to life or health concentrations (IDLHs).

  • Beryllium compounds (as Be)

NIOSH Manual of Analytical Methods (NMAM)
NMAM is a collection of methods for sampling and analysis of contaminants in workplace air.

NIOSH Criteria Documents
Criteria documents are developed to provide the basis for comprehensive occupational safety and health standards. These documents generally contain a critical review of the scientific and technical information available on the prevalence of hazards, the existence of safety and health risks, and the adequacy of methods to identify and control hazards.

Genetics in the Workplace: Implications for Occupational Safety and Health
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2010-101

U.S. Governmental Resources

Toxicological Profile for Beryllium (ATSDR)

Department of Energy (DOE): Chronic Beryllium Disease Prevention Program

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

OSHA Safety and Health Topic: Beryllium