Low prevalence of chronic beryllium disease among workers at a nuclear weapons research and development facility

Mehrdad Arjomandi, James Seward, Michael B. Gotway, Stephen Nishimura, George P. Fulton, Josef Thundiyil, Talmadge E. King, Philip Harber, John R. Balmes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:: To study the prevalence of beryllium sensitization (BeS) and chronic beryllium disease (CBD) in a cohort of workers from a nuclear weapons research and development facility. METHODS:: We evaluated 50 workers with BeS with medical and occupational histories, physical examination, chest imaging with high-resolution computed tomography (N = 49), and pulmonary function testing. Forty of these workers also underwent bronchoscopy for bronchoalveolar lavage and transbronchial biopsies. RESULTS:: The mean duration of employment at the facility was 18 years and the mean latency (from first possible exposure) to time of evaluation was 32 years. Five of the workers had CBD at the time of evaluation (based on histology or high-resolution computed tomography); three others had evidence of probable CBD. CONCLUSIONS:: These workers with BeS, characterized by a long duration of potential Be exposure and a long latency, had a low prevalence of CBD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)647-652
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of occupational and environmental medicine
Volume52
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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