Doctor insights on:
How To Prevent Berylliosis
Rare condition from: ...Occupational exposure to beryllium ("be"; a heavy metal). Formerly used in flourescent lights, its now almost exclusively used in the aerospace industry. Be dust is inhaled and can stimulate the immune system like an allergen. Lung disease can be acute like infection or a chronic condition, similar to sarcoid. Individual susceptibility varies probably by genetic variation. ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
Complex: The evaluation to see if beryllium exposure is producing illness is actually quite complex. It involves a number of specialized blood tests and may even require lavage specimens obtained during bronchoscopy. For starters, documentation of significant exposure to beryllium would be helpful. ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
Often none, but...: Berylllium (used in the aerospace industry, and long ago in fluorescent light-bulb production) is a heavy metal that some can react to with an immune response. Since it is inhaled the response can affect the lungs and the lymph nodes in the chest. The immune response can cause scarring that leads to cough, shortness of breath, and enlarged lymph nodes (which by themselves are harmless). ...Read more
Occupational: This is an occupational disorder. Older (decades ago) flourescent light bulbs were made with berylium (be). Nowdays it is used mostly in aerospace manufacturing. People in jet engine plants for high-speed aircraft, missiles, space vehicles and satellites. Its lightweight, and strong. People working in these industries are more likely to come into contact with be dust. ...Read more
Beryylium disease: The significance is that the individual now has been diagnosed with a medical condition that may or may not require treatment. "berylliosis" is an old term used to signify acute pulmonary beryllium disease where the person had a fairly large exposure, usually to a more dissolvable form. Chronic beryllium disease typically occurs after frequent but mostly smaller exposures to less soluble forms. ...Read more
Blood and biopsy: A blood test can be performed that shows evidence of sensitization to beryllium using something celled the beryllium lymphocyte proliferation test (belpt). Belpt can also be performed on bronchoalveolar lavage (bal) washings. Lastly, a lung biopsy can also be performed in certain cases to help make the diagnosis. ...Read more
No easy cure: I trust you have an attorney and that you are not a smoker. Whether to try corticosteroids or methotrexate for severe cases is controversial. If you are in need of a lung transplant, I hope you are able to get this. If you merely have some exposure and possibly some x-ray lesions but feel well, be thankful for good heath and go on with your life, expecting little or no further trouble. ...Read more
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