Evaluation of a preventive program to reduce sensitization at a beryllium metal, oxide, and alloy production plant.
Bailey RL; Thomas CA; Deubner DC; Kent MS; Kreiss K; Schuler CR
J Occup Environ Med 2010 May; 52(5):505-512
Objective: We evaluated a workplace preventive program's effectiveness, which emphasized skin and respiratory protection, workplace cleanliness, and beryllium migration control in lowering beryllium sensitization. Methods: We compared sensitization prevalence and incidence rates for workers hired before and after the program using available cross sectional and longitudinal surveillance data. Results: Sensitization prevalence was 8.9% for the Pre-Program Group and 2.1% for the Program Group. The sensitization incidence rate was 3.7/1000 person-months for the Pre-Program Group and 1.7/1000 person-months for the Program Group. After making adjustments for potential selection and information bias, sensitization prevalence for the Pre-Program Group was 3.8 times higher (95% CI = 1.5 to 9.3) than the Program Group. The sensitization incidence rate ratio comparing the Pre- Program Group to the Program Group was 1.6 (95% CI = 0.8 to 3.6). Conclusions: This preventive program reduced the prevalence of but did not eliminate beryllium sensitization.
Beryllium-compounds; Sensitization; Disease-prevention; Skin-protection; Respiratory-protection; Surveillance-programs; Occupational-exposure; Statistical-analysis; Beryllium-disease; Biomarkers
Rachel L. Bailey, DO, MPH, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Division of Respiratory Disease Studies, Field Studies Branch, Mail Stop H2800, 1095 Willowdale Road, Morgantown, WV 26505
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine