Cinnaminson, NJ, March 24, 2017
In May, a new final rule from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) goes into effect. Its aim is to prevent chronic beryllium disease (CBD) and lung cancer in American workers by limiting their exposure to beryllium and beryllium compounds.
Beryllium is a lightweight and strong metal used in the aerospace, electronics, energy, telecommunications, medical and defense industries. Beryllium and its compounds are important materials, but beryllium is also a highly toxic metal and workers who inhale it are at an increased risk of developing chronic beryllium disease or lung cancer. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) lists beryllium as a Group 1 carcinogen, and the National Toxicology Program (NTP) lists beryllium as a known human carcinogen.
Key provisions of the new rule:
- Reduce the permissible exposure limit (PEL) for beryllium to 0.2 micrograms per cubic meter of air, averaged over 8 hours.
- Establishes a new short-term exposure limit for beryllium of 2.0 micrograms per cubic meter of air, over a 15-minute sampling period.
- Requires employers to: use engineering and work practice controls (such as ventilation or enclosure) to limit worker exposure to beryllium; provide respirators when controls cannot adequately limit exposure; limit worker access to high-exposure areas; develop a written exposure control plan; and train workers on beryllium hazards.
- Requires employers to make medical exams available to monitor exposed workers and provide medical removal protection benefits to workers identified with a beryllium-related disease.
CBD is a serious pulmonary disease that can cause debilitation or death. Signs and symptoms of CBD can include shortness of breath, an unexplained cough, fatigue, weight loss, fever and night sweats. Lung cancer is associated with occupational exposure to beryllium by inhaling beryllium-containing dusts, fumes or mists.
“OSHA estimates that around 62,000 workers are exposed to beryllium in the workplace,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President of Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “To help protect workers and keep companies in compliance with the new rule, EMSL offers industrial hygiene and environmental analysis of beryllium. We also offer all of the sampling supplies necessary to collect samples for this and other potentially harmful substances.”
EMSL Analytical recently sponsored an educational video about the new beryllium rule that can be seen at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xeMbjO68jMI.
To learn more about this or other occupational, environmental, air quality, health and safety testing services, please visit www.EMSL.com, call (800) 220-3675 or email info@EMSL.com.
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical, Inc. is one of the leading testing laboratories with over 40 locations throughout the United States and Canada. EMSL is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider specializing in fast laboratory results for mold, bacteria, Legionella, USP <797>, pathogens, asbestos, lead, soot, char & ash from fires, VOC’s, odors, radon, formaldehyde, indoor air quality, microbiology, environmental, industrial hygiene, radiological, food, beverage & consumer products and material testing services for the identification of unknown substances. EMSL services both professionals and the general public. EMSL maintains an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies including, but not limited to A2LA, AIHA LAP, LLC. (AIHA EMLAP, AIHA IHLAP, AIHA ELLAP), NVLAP, CDC ELITE, CPSC, CA ELAP, NY ELAP, TX DOH, NJDEP and multiple other state accrediting agencies. Please visit our website at www.EMSL.com for a complete listing of accreditations. In addition, EMSL carries a wide range of Sampling Equipment and Investigative Products for environmental professionals.