NIOSH Seeks Public Comments on Beryllium Alert

NIOSH is reminding the public that it is conducting a public review of a draft NIOSH document titled, "NIOSH Alert: Preventing Chronic Beryllium Disease and Beryllium Sensitization." The draft alert describes the nature of chronic beryllium disease and other health effects that can occur from exposure to beryllium and beryllium-containing materials. Recommendations for companies and workers to minimize the health risk to workers are also provided.

Beryllium is a lightweight metal with many remarkable properties, including heat resistance and conductance, electrical conductance, flexibility, formability, neutron moderation, x-ray transparency and lubricity. Exposure to beryllium can lead to sensitization, a cell-mediated allergic-type response, and cause a granulomatous lung disease called chronic beryllium disease.

Comments are being accepted until May 12, 2008. When submitting comments reference Docket Number 120. Guidelines for submissions can be found at www.cdc.gov/niosh/review/public/120.

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