Beryllium compounds (as Be)
Immediately Dangerous to Life or Health Concentrations (IDLH)
CAS number 7440-41-7 (Metal)
NIOSH REL Not to exceed 0.0005 mg/m3; NIOSH considers beryllium compounds to be potential occupational carcinogens as defined by the OSHA carcinogen policy [29 CFR 1990].
Current OSHA PEL 0.002 mg/m3 TWA, 0.005 mg/m3 CEILING, 0.025 mg/m3 30-minute MAXIMUM PEAK
1989 OSHA PEL Same as current PEL
1993-1994 ACGIH TLV 0.002 mg/m3 TWA, A2
Description of Substance Varies
Original (SCP) IDLH* 10 mg Be/m3 [*Note: “Effective” IDLH = 4 mg Be/m3 — see discussion below.]
Basis for original (SCP) IDLH This IDLH is based on the statement by Patty  that 10 mg/m3 of beryllium fluoride was lethal to several species in 15 days. However, respirators have been assigned on the basis of the assigned protection factor afforded by each device up to 2,000 x the OSHA PEL of 0.002 mg/m3 (i.e., 4 mg/m3); only the “most protective” respirators are permitted for use in concentrations exceeding 4 mg Be/m3.
Short-term exposure guidelines None developed
ACUTE TOXICITY DATA
Lethal dose data:
|Species||Reference||Route||LD50(mg/kg)||LDLo(mg/kg)||Adjusted LD||Derived Value|
|Rat||Blair 1951||oral||90||—–||158 mg Be/m3||16 mg Be/m3|
|Mouse||Tabershaw 1972||oral||100||—–||161 mg Be/m3||16 mg Be/m3|
|Rat||Sazhina 1965||oral||82||—–||49 mg Be/m3||4.9 mg Be/m3|
|Mouse||Sazhina 1965||oral||80||—–||48 mg Be/m3||4.8 mg Be/m3|
Other animal data: It has been reported that 10 mg/m3 of beryllium fluoride (i.e., 2.3 mg Be/m3) was lethal to several species in 15 days [Patty 1963].
Human data: None relevant for use in determining the revised IDLH.
|Revised IDLH: 4 mg Be/m3Basis for revised IDLH: Based on acute toxicity data in animals [Patty 1963; Sazhina 1965], a value of about 5 mg Be/m3 would have been appropriate. However, the revised IDLH for beryllium compounds is 4 mg Be/m3 based on being 2,000 times the OSHA PEL of 0.002 mg Be/m3 (2,000 is an assigned protection factor for respirators; only the “most reliable” respirators are recommended for exposures greater than 2,000 times the OSHA PEL). [Note: NIOSH recommends as part of its carcinogen policy that the “most protective” respirators be worn for beryllium compounds at concentrations above 0.0005 mg Be/m3.]|
- Blair HA . Quarterly technical report (January 1, 1951 through March 31, 1951). Rochester, NY: University of Rochester, Research and Development Report UR-154, U.S. Atomic Energy Commission Contract W-7401-eng-49.
- Patty FA, ed. . Industrial hygiene and toxicology. 2nd rev. ed. Vol. II. Toxicology. New York, NY: Interscience Publishers, Inc., p. 1006.
- Sazhina LA . Experimental data to substantiate the maximum permissible concentration of beryllium in the water of reservoirs. Gig Sanit 30(1-3):169-176 (translated).
- Tabershaw IR, ed. . The toxicology of beryllium. U.S. Public Health Service Publication 2173:23.