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5/31/2018 » 6/3/2018
2018 OSAP Annual Conference

Beryllium Toolkit

Beryllium Toolkit



Beryllium is a lightweight metal with unique mechanical and thermal properties that make it ideal for use in many applications and industries including defense, aerospace, telecommunications, automotive electronics, and medical specialties.

Beryllium is a naturally occurring metal found in beryl and bertrandite ores. Beryllium and beryllium-containing alloys and compounds have been produced commercially in the US since the 1940s. Production of beryllium oxide began in the late 1950s.

Source: NIOSH

In dental materials, including some crowns and bridges, beryllium-containing alloys are used to improve castability and bond strength. The process of melting, grinding, polishing and finishing certain dental materials can produce beryllium-containing particles, fumes, mists and solutions, which may be harmful depending on the intensity, duration, frequency and route of exposure.

Source: ADA

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Regulations & Guidelines                     


(1) Proper Use of Beryllium Containing Alloys


(1) OSHA Safety and Health Topic: Beryllium

(2) Preventing Adverse Health Effects From Exposure to Beryllium in Dental Laboratories

(1) Beryllium

 ATS  (1) An Official ATS Statement: Diagnosis and Management of Beryllium Sensitivity and Chronic Beryllium Disease (2014)

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Best Practices                  
Key Learnings as of December 2017

Chronic Beryllium Disease (CBD) primarily affects the lungs. CBD may occur among dental laboratory technicians when they inhale dust containing beryllium when working on items such as dental crowns, bridges, and partial denture frameworks made from dental alloys containing beryllium. CBD may develop within months after initial exposure to beryllium or may have a very slow onset and not develop until years after exposure to beryllium has occurred. The amount or length of exposure to beryllium necessary to cause a specific individual to develop CBD is not known, but recent information suggests that even short exposures (weeks or months) to levels of beryllium below OSHA's PEL of 2 μg/m3 averaged over an 8-hour day may lead to CBD in some workers (Source: OSHA)

Related Articles

(1) Preventing Sensitization and Disease from Beryllium Exposure

(2) Chronic beryllium disease in a dental laboratory technician

(3) Chronic beryllium disease among dental technicians in Israel

(4) Dental labs get beryllium alert


(1) Chronic Beryllium Disease: Overview

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Instructional Resources                  
Fact Sheets

ATSDR - Toxic Substances Portal - Beryllium

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Patient Resources               

Beryllium Toxicity Patient Education Care Instruction Sheet


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