Extraction of beryllium from refractory beryllium oxide with dilute ammonium bifluoride and determination by fluorescence: a multiparameter performance evaluation.
Goldcamp-MJ; Goldcamp-DM; Ashley-K; Fernback-JE; Agrawal-A; Millson-M; Marlow-D; Harrison-K
J Occup Environ Hyg 2009 Dec; 6(12):735-744
Beryllium exposure can cause a number of deleterious health effects, including beryllium sensitization and the potentially fatal chronic beryllium disease. Efficient methods for monitoring beryllium contamination in workplaces are valuable to help prevent dangerous exposures to this element. In this work, performance data on the extraction of beryllium from various size fractions of high-fired beryllium oxide (BeO) particles (from < 32 mu m up to 212 mu m) using dilute aqueous ammonium bifluoride (ABF) solution were obtained under various conditions. Beryllium concentrations were determined by fluorescence using a hydroxybenzoquinoline fluorophore. The effects of ABF concentration and volume, extraction temperature, sample tube types, and presence of filter or wipe media were examined. Three percent ABF extracts beryllium nearly twice as quickly as 1% ABF; extraction solution volume has minimal influence. Elevated temperatures increase the rate of extraction dramatically compared with room temperature extraction. Sample tubes with constricted tips yield poor extraction rates owing to the inability of the extraction medium to access the undissolved particles. The relative rates of extraction of Be from BeO of varying particle sizes were examined. Beryllium from BeO particles in fractions ranging from less than 32 mu m up to 212 mu m were subjected to various extraction schemes. The smallest BeO particles are extracted more quickly than the largest particles, although at 90 degreesC even the largest BeO particles reach nearly quantitative extraction within 4 hr in 3% ABF. Extraction from mixed cellulosic-ester filters, cellulosic surface-sampling filters, wetted cellulosic dust wipes, and cotton gloves yielded 90% or greater recoveries. Scanning electron microscopy of BeO particles, including partially dissolved particles, shows that dissolution in dilute ABF occurs not just on the exterior surface but also via accessing particles' interiors due to porosity of the BeO material. Comparison of dissolution kinetics data shows that as particle diameter approximately doubles, extraction time is increased by a factor of about 1.5, which is consistent with the influence of porosity on dissolution.
Dust-measurement; Dust-particles; Dust-sampling; Exposure-assessment; Exposure-methods; Laboratory-testing; Metal-dusts; Metal-industry; Metal-industry-workers; Metallic-compounds; Metallic-poisoning; Metal-poisoning; Metal-workers; Particle-counters; Particulate-dust; Particulates; Particulate-sampling-methods; Sampling; Sampling-methods; Standards; Surface-properties; Temperature-effects; Work-environment; Workplace-studies;
Author Keywords: beryllium oxide; dissolution; extraction; fluorescence analysis; surface samples
Michael J. Goldcamp, Wilmington College, 1870 Quaker Way, Wilmington, OH 45177
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene