ORISE Business Areas

Occupational Exposure and Worker Studies

Science Education Programs

Professional and Technical Training

Independent Environmental Assessment and Verification

Radiation Emergency Assistance Center/Training Site

National Security and Emergency Management

Scientific Peer Reviews

Worker and Public Health Communication

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the U.S. Department of Energy
by Oak Ridge Associated Universities
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Home > Occupational Exposure and Worker Studies > Beryllium Exposure Studies and Testing

Occupational Exposure and Worker Studies

Beryllium Exposure Studies and Testing

Beryllium is a light but strong metal that finds applications in many industries, such as aerospace and defense, including nuclear weapons production. In its solid state, it is not harmful, but workers exposed to beryllium dust or fumes during machining and manufacturing operations may develop a sensitivity to it.

The prevalence of chronic beryllium disease (CBD) has been increasing across the Department of Energy (DOE) system. To assist the department in assessing the health impacts of DOE operations on employees exposed to airborne beryllium, the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) manages DOE’s beryllium screening program. Components include:

Testing Beryllium Vendor Populations
Thirty thousand former employees of 24 defunct DOE beryllium vendor companies turn to ORISE for medical tests related to their beryllium exposure.

Beryllium Registry for Active Workers
ORISE maintains the Beryllium Registry of 18 reporting DOE sites with nearly 30,000 current workers tracked cumulatively.

Beryllium Testing Laboratory
ORISE has one of only five laboratories in the United States approved to conduct the lymphocyte proliferation test, which is used to detect a patient’s sensitivity to beryllium.

DOE Central Beryllium Institutional Review Board
ORISE manages this IRB to provide expertise and consistency in addressing human subjects protection issues for any DOE-related beryllium research or testing.

For more information

Dr. Donna Cragle
Director, Occupational Exposure and Worker Health


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