Job Related Beryllium Diseases
People employed in the atomic energy and defense industries may come into contact with beryllium, a strong, light–metal that has toxic effects. Other workers who risk beryllium exposure include those in the space, aeronautics, computer, and electronics fields. Grinders, machinists, hot press operators, and welders who work with materials containing beryllium are at high risk for inhaling beryllium dust. Even dental laboratory technicians who make dental crowns and bridges composed of beryllium–nickel alloys may be exposed to the element.
Workers may become allergic to beryllium (a process known as “beryllium sensitization”), and eventually develop chronic beryllium disease or berylliosis, a painful scarring of the lungs. Detection methods for beryllium allergy include x–rays and blood tests (see Beryllium Disease: Detection). Chronic beryllium disease or berylliosis can be treated, but not cured. Although steroids are the main treatment for berylliosis, they do have side–effects such as weight gain, thinning of the bones, and a weakened immune system.
For more information about beryllium–related diseases, beryllium compounds, and how beryllium exposure occurs in the workplace, see our web site, Beryllium Network. We have created this web site as a service to beryllium victims and their families. Besides containing details about beryllium diseases and exposure, it includes lists of medical centers and beryllium support groups, news about beryllium, and a glossary of beryllium medical terms.
If you have been exposed to beryllium on the job and are diagnosed with chronic beryllium disease, please contact Brayton Purcell LLP today to learn more about your legal rights. We may file a workers’ compensation claim if your beryllium exposure took place during the course of private employment.
You may also have a case against the manufacturer of the beryllium product or equipment involved. Because of our extensive experience with beryllium litigation, the legal staff at Brayton Purcell LLP can effectively manage this action as well as your workers’ compensation case.