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NSLS ESH Highlight #16

Beryllium – Know What You Have and Take Care Of It

Date: May 24, 1999
Editor: A. Ackerman, N. Gmür

In response to concerns associated with the use of Beryllium, the Department of Energy (DOE) has drafted Code of Federal Regulation 10CFR850 entitled "Chronic Beryllium Disease Prevention Program". A review of this document indicates that it is more geared to locations where Be is machined (grinding, sanding, etc.) and where there is a risk of Be inhalation. There is no machining of Be at the NSLS. The NSLS purchases manufactured Be articles made of Be metal, BeO and CuBe (usually # 2% Be). Implementation of the Federal law, once it takes effect, should not be difficult for the NSLS. However, there are some requirements we must address.


As part of the response to the new DOE regulation, all Be articles located in the NSLS will be inventoried. The inventory will include the type of material (Be metal, BeO, CuBe, other), its use (window, displex shield, ceramic, tool, wire, other), its quantity and location. Note: small CuBe electrical contacts, feed-throughs, springs, etc. do not have to be inventoried. The information will be entered into the Chemical Management System database and will be posted at the locations of the Be articles. Inventory updates will be required. If you have not yet been contacted for this inventory, please call Nicholas Gmür at x2490 or pager 5324.

Cleanup of Damaged Beryllium Articles

On rare occasions, Be articles can be damaged (physical breakage, oxidation by the synchrotron beam, melted by electrical arcing). In any of these cases, due care must be exercised to ensure the cleanup is done carefully, dispersion of any Be dust is kept to a minimum and disposal of waste is done properly. A graded approach to each cleanup will be used based on the nature of the problem and the complexity of the cleanup. Wearing rubber gloves is a must when handling Be metal or BeO. Additional personnel protective equipment and surveys may be necessary. You are required to call any of the following people for guidance in cleaning up damaged Beryllium articles:

  • Andrew Ackerman, x5431 or pager 0338
  • Nicholas Gmür, x2490, pager 5324
  • Chris Weilandics, x2593 or pager 6208

For disposal of waste beryllium articles or residues from cleanups, call John Aloi, x7018, pager 5212.