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Beryllium Toolkit

Beryllium Toolkit

 OVERVIEW  | REGULATIONS & GUIDELINES | BEST PRACTICES | INSTRUCTIONAL RESOURCES | PATIENT RESOURCES  


Overview             

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

Many dental prosthetic restorations placed in the United States are made of a variety of base metal alloys. Base metal alloys are composed of metallic elements other than gold, silver, platinum, palladium, ruthenium, iridium, rhodium, and osmium.

Beryllium is added to some base metal alloys for use in crowns, bridges and partial denture frameworks. Incorporation of beryllium into the base metal alloy formulation facilitates castability (lowering the melting temperature and surface tension) and increases the porcelain metal bond strength. Beryllium also allows the alloys to be electrolytically etchable for bonding veneers in conjunction with resin-bonded restorations.

Source: ADA


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Regulations & Guidelines                     

ADA

(1) Proper Use of Beryllium Containing Alloys

OSHA

(1) OSHA Safety and Health Topic: Beryllium

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

(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 February 2015

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

FAQs

(1) Chronic Beryllium Disease: Overview

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Instructional Resources                  
Fact Sheets

(1) EPA - Beryllium and compounds (CASRN 7440-41-7)

(2) ATSDR - Toxic Substances Portal - Beryllium

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Patient Resources               
ATSDR

Beryllium Toxicity Patient Education Care Instruction Sheet

PDF

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