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Beryllium contamination inside vehicles of machine shop workers.
Sanderson WT; Henneberger P; Martyny J; Ellis K; Mroz M; Newman L
American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, May 9-15, 1998, Atlanta, Georgia. Fairfax, VA: American Industrial Hygiene Association, 1998 May; :83
Occupational exposure to airbome beryllium compounds causes a chronic, debilitating lung disease in immunologically sensitized workers. Evidence that very low concentrations of beryllium may initiate this chronic disease is provided by incidences of the illness in family members exposed to beryllium dust from workers' clothes and residents in neighborhoods surrounding beryllium refineries. This report describes the results of a cross-sectional survey to evaluate potential take-home beryllium exposures by measuring surface concentrations on the hands and in vehicles of workers at a precision machine shop manufacturing beryllium products. Wipe samples collected from workers' hands and vehicle surfaces were analyzed for beryllium content by inductively coupled argon plasma-atomic emission spectroscopy. The results ranged widely, from nondetectable to hundreds of mg/ft2, but showed that many workers both carried residual beryllium on their hands when leaving work and contaminated the inside of their vehicles. The highest beryllium concentration inside the workers' vehicles were found on the drivers' floors (GM=19 mg/ft2, GSD 4.9), indicating that workers were carrying beryllium contamination on their shoes into their vehicles. A safe level of beryllium contamination on surfaces is not known, but it is prudent to reduce the potential for workers to carry beryllium away from the work site.
Beryllium-compounds; Machine-shop-workers; Employee-exposure; Employee-health; Lung-disease; Toxic-materials; Toxic-effects; Sampling; Spectrographic-analysis; Motor-vehicles; Toxins; Beryllium-poisoning; Metal-dusts; Machinists; Families; Heavy-metal-poisoning; Heavy-metals
American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, May 9-15, 1998, Atlanta, Georgia
OH; WV; GA
Page last reviewed: April 8, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division