Preventing Sensitization and Disease from Beryllium Exposure

Workers exposed to particles, fumes, mists, or solutions from
beryllium-containing materials may develop beryllium sensitization or chronic
beryllium disease, a potentially disabling or even fatal respiratory disease.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recommends
that workers exposed to beryllium-containing materials take the following steps
to protect themselves:

  • Understand the risks and follow all proper procedures for working with beryllium-including participation in safety training.

  • Keep beryllium out of the lungs:

    • Make sure that beryllium dusts, fumes, mists, and beryllium-containing solutions and suspensions are controlled at their sources.

    • Participate in respiratory protection programs when advised to do so.

  • Keep beryllium-containing dusts and solutions off the skin:

    • Keep work surfaces and work areas clean.

    • Participate in skin protection programs. These programs may include wearing gloves and company-issued clothing (with long sleeves and long pants and showering at the end of the workday.

  • Do not store or consume food, drinks, tobacco products, or cosmetics in beryllium work areas.

  • Do not use cleaning methods that may cause dust to become resuspended in air (dry sweeping, compressed air, and other dust-generating methods, for example). Better methods include HEPA-filtered vacuums or wet cleaning methods that do not produce splash or spray.

  • Prevent beryllium dusts and other contaminants from leaving beryllium work areas on your skin, clothing, shoes, and tools.

  • Participate in workplace medical surveillance so that risks related to job tasks can be identified and prevented.

More info - Source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)