Efficacy of serial medical surveillance for chronic beryllium disease in a beryllium machining plant.
Newman-LS; Mroz-MM; Maier-LA; Daniloff-EM; Balkissoon-R
J Occup Environ Med 2001 Mar; 43(3):231-237
There is limited information on the use of the blood beryllium lymphocyte proliferation test (BeLPT) at regular intervals in medical surveillance. Employees of a beryllium machining plant were screened with the BeLPT biennially, and new employees were screened within 3 months of hire. Of 235 employees screened from 1995 to 1997, a total of 15 (6.4%) had confirmed abnormal BeLPT results indicating beryllium sensitization; nine of these employees were diagnosed with chronic beryllium disease. Four of the 15 cases were diagnosed within 3 months of first exposure. When 187 of the 235 employees participated in biennial screening in 1997 to 1999, seven more had developed beryllium sensitization or chronic beryllium disease, increasing the overall rate to 9.4% (22 of 235). The blood BeLPT should be used serially in beryllium disease surveillance to capture new or missed cases of sensitization and disease. Beryllium sensitization and chronic beryllium disease can occur within 50 days of first exposure in modern industry.
Beryllium-compounds; Beryllium-disease; Sensitivity-testing; Sensitization; Lymphocytes; Blood-tests; Machine-operators; Machine-shop-workers; Medical-screening; Surveillance-programs; Occupational-exposure; Chronic-exposure
National Jewish Medical and Research Center, Division of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, 1400 Jackson Street, Denver, CO 80206
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
National Jewish Medical and Research Center, Division of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, Denver, Colorado 80206