News & Events

Beryllium Surveillance Exam

  • Nov 12, 2018

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued a rule to limit worker exposure to beryllium and requires employers to implement protective measures for workers who may be exposed. Beryllium is a gray metal that is highly toxic, used primarily in alloys and seen in many industries, including aerospace, electronics, energy, telecommunication, medical and defense.

About 60,000 workers are exposed to beryllium in their workplaces through inhalation in the air or contact on surfaces. This can result in adverse health effects, with an increased risk of developing chronic beryllium disease (CBD) and lung cancer.

Workers with potential exposure to beryllium are encouraged to participate in a medical surveillance program. Sanford OccMed offers medical surveillance to workers who meet one of the following conditions:

  • Exposure to beryllium during an emergency
  • Has received a recommendation for continued medical surveillance from a physician or other licensed health care professional
  • Expected to be exposed above the action level of 0.1ug/m3 for 30 days in a year
  • Shows signs or symptoms of CBD

The components of a beryllium surveillance exam:

  • Beryllium medical surveillance questionnaire
  • Beryllium surveillance occupational health history form
  • OSHA beryllium medical questionnaire
  • OSHA respirator questionnaire review
  • Pulmonary function test (PFT)
  • Respirator clearance exam
  • Serological studies