Frequency of sensitization and disease among workers in beryllium service and distribution centers.
Stanton ML; Schuler CR; Deubner D; Henneberger PK; Kreiss K
Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2003 Apr; 167(7):A680
Cross-sectional surveys in beryllium primary production facilities have revealed that 5 to 10% of screened workers were sensitized to beryllium, and 3 to 5% had chronic beryllium disease (CBD). Workers at service and distribution centers (SDCs) that handle copper beryllium alloy products in the form of strip, tubing, and rod and wire have not previously been studied. Workers in these centers perform final processing of products before distribution, and generally have lower exposure than workers in primary production facilities. In this study, workers at 3 SDCs were screened for beryllium sensitization and disease. 88 of the 100 workers at 3 copper beryllium alloy SDCs were screened for beryllium sensitization using the beryllium lymphocyte proliferation test (BeLPT). Participants who had 2 abnormal BeLPTs were classified as sensitized; sensitized workers were further evaluated for CBD, defined as the presence of granulomas on lung biopsy. Workers were categorized as having worked in secondary production areas, non-production areas, or both areas. I of 88 workers tested was found to be sensitized and subsequently found to have CBD. For all tested workers: 42% (37/88) had performed jobs in secondary production areas, 41 % (36/88) worked in non-production areas, and the remaining 17% (15/88) had worked in both areas. The prevalence of sensitization! CBD was 1.1 % (1/88) for all tested, and 1.9% (1/52) for those who had worked in secondary production areas. Workers in these 3 copper beryllium alloy SDCs had lower prevalences of beryllium sensitization and CBD than workers previously studied in primary production facilities. These findings may be relevant to other users of copper beryllium alloy who perform similar operations.
Beryllium-compounds; Beryllium-disease; Workers; Sensitization; Occupational-exposure; Exposure-levels; Lung-disorders; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Respiratory-system-disorders; Heavy-metals; Heavy-metal-poisoning
Abstract; Conference/Symposia Proceedings
Research Tools and Approaches: Exposure Assessment Methods
American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, 2003 International Conference, The American Thoracic Society, Seattle, WA, May 16-21, 2003