Health and Safety Guide No. 44






    This is a companion volume to Environmental Health Criteria 106:

    Published by the World Health Organization for the International
    Programme on Chemical Safety (a collaborative programme of the United
    Nations Environment Programme, the International Labour Organisation,
    and the World Health Organization)

    This report contains the collective views of an international group of
    experts and does not necessarily represent the decisions or the stated
    policy of the United Nations Environment Programme, the International
    Labour Organisation, or the World Health Organization

    WHO Library Cataloguing in Publication Data

    Beryllium : health and safety guide.

    (Health and safety guide ; no. 44)

    1. Beryllium - standards  I. Series

    ISBN 92 4 151044 7          (NLM Classification: QV 275)
    ISSN 0259-7268

    (c) World Health Organization 1990

    Publications of the World Health Organization enjoy copyright
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    welcomes such applications.

    The designations employed and the presentation of the material in this
    publication do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on
    the part of the Secretariat of the World Health Organization
    concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or
    of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or

    The mention of specific companies or of certain manufacturers'
    products does not imply that they are endorsed or recommended by the
    World Health Organization in preference to others of a similar nature
    that are not mentioned.  Errors and omissions excepted, the names of
    proprietary products are distinguished by initial capital letters.



         1.1. Identity
         1.2. Physical and chemical properties
         1.3. Composition
         1.4. Production and uses

         2.1. Human exposure
         2.2. Uptake, metabolism, and excretion
         2.3. Effects on organisms in the environment
         2.4. Effects on animals
         2.5. Effects on human beings

         3.1. Acute beryllium disease
         3.2. Chronic beryllium disease
         3.3. Cancer

         4.1. Main human health hazards, prevention and protection,
              first aid
              4.1.1. Advice to physicians
              4.1.2. Health surveillance advice
         4.2. Explosion and fire hazards
              4.2.1. Explosion hazards
              4.2.2. Fire hazards
              4.2.3. Prevention
              4.2.4. Fire-extinguishing agents
         4.3. Storage
         4.4. Transport
         4.5. Spillage
         4.6. Disposal



         7.1. Exposure limit values
         7.2. Specific restrictions
         7.3. Labelling, packaging, and transport



    The Environmental Health Criteria (EHC) documents produced by the
    International Programme on Chemical Safety include an assessment of
    the effects on the environment and on human health of exposure to a
    chemical or combination of chemicals, or physical or biological
    agents.  They also provide guidelines for setting exposure limits.

    The purpose of a Health and Safety Guide is to facilitate the
    application of these guidelines in national chemical safety
    programmes. The first three sections of a Health and Safety Guide
    highlight the relevant technical information in the corresponding EHC. 
    Section 4 includes advice on preventive and protective measures and
    emergency action; health workers should be thoroughly  familiar with
    the medical information to ensure that they can act efficiently in an
    emergency.  Within the Guide is a Summary of Chemical Safety
    Information which should be readily available, and should be clearly
    explained, to all who could come into contact with the chemical.  The
    section on regulatory information has been extracted from the legal
    file of the International Register of Potentially Toxic Chemicals
    (IRPTC) and from other United Nations sources.

    The target readership includes occupational health services, those in
    ministries, governmental agencies, industry, and trade unions who are
    involved in the safe use of chemicals and the avoidance of
    environmental health hazards, and those wanting more information on
    this topic.  An attempt has been made to use only terms that will be
    familiar to the intended user.  However, sections 1 and 2 inevitably
    contain some technical terms.  A bibliography has been included for
    readers who require further background information.

    Revision of the information in this Guide will take place in due
    course, and the eventual aim is to use standardized terminology. 
    Comments on any difficulties encountered in using the Guide would be
    very helpful and should be addressed to:

    The Manager
    International Programme on Chemical Safety
    Division of Environmental Health
    World Health Organization
    1211 Geneva 27



    1.1  Identity

    Common name:             beryllium

    Chemical formula:        Be

    CAS registry number:     7440-41-7

    Common synonyms:         glycinium; glucinum

    1.2  Physical and Chemical Properties

    Beryllium is a light, brittle, steel-grey metal that is stable to heat
    and also chemically stable.  It has a very low density and a very high
    melting point.  The specific heat, heat of fusion, sound conductance,
    and strength-to-weight ratio are also high.  Beryllium powder is
    explosive and flammable.

    1.3  Composition

    Beryllium metal, the oxide (beryllia), and various alloys,
    particularly the beryllium-copper alloy, are all of commercial
    importance.  Most beryllium alloys contain up to 3% beryllium. 
    Beryllia is produced at temperatures ranging from about 500 C to
    1500 C, and there is ample evidence that the toxicity, and perhaps
    the carcinogenicity, of beryllium oxide depend on the firing

    1.4  Production and Uses

    Beryl and bertrandite are the only beryllium minerals that are of
    economic significance.  Production takes place only in Japan, the USA,
    and the USSR.  In other countries, the imported pure metal, alloys, or
    ceramic beryllium oxide are processed to end products.  World
    production of beryllium is estimated to be of the order of 400 tonnes
    per year.

    Beryllium is mainly used in the form of beryllium-copper and other
    alloys in the aerospace, electronic, and mechanical industries for the
    production of, e.g., aircraft engine parts, electric contacts and
    switches, springs, non-sparking tools, and welding electrodes.  Pure
    beryllium metal is used in the aerospace, weapon, and nuclear
    industries.  Applications include special structural materials,
    aircraft brakes, heat shields, missile and nuclear reactor components,
    and X-ray windows.  Beryllium powder is also used as a solid rocket
    propellant.  Beryllium oxide has many ceramic applications in
    electronics and microelectronics. 


    2.1  Human Exposure

    The increasing high-technology application of beryllium is paralleled
    by an increase in potential human exposure to beryllium metal,
    beryllium oxide, and beryllium-containing alloys.  However, providing
    that control measures in the beryllium industry are adequate, the
    general population is mainly exposed to airborne beryllium from the
    combustion of fossil fuel at levels that are usually low.  Where
    beryllium-containing casting alloys are used for dental prostheses,
    skin contact must be considered.

    Exposure in the work-place is through inhalation and contamination of
    the skin.  While exposure to high beryllium concentrations causing
    acute effects may occur, standards established by various countries
    (see section 7) have drastically reduced concentrations of beryllium
    in the work-place.  However, these values are not being achieved

    2.2  Uptake, Metabolism, and Excretion

    In animals, inhaled beryllium is retained in the lung and slowly
    absorbed into the blood.  A significant part of the inhaled dose is
    incorporated into the skeleton, which is the ultimate site of
    beryllium storage.

    A considerable proportion of absorbed beryllium is rapidly excreted,
    mainly in the urine.  Part of the beryllium that is inhaled is
    eliminated in the faeces, probably as a result of clearance from the
    respiratory tract and ingestion of swallowed beryllium.

    Because of the long storage of beryllium in the skeleton and in the
    lungs, its biological half-life is extremely long.  In the human
    skeleton, it has been calculated to be 450 days.

    2.3  Effects on Organisms in the Environment

    Data concerning the fate of beryllium in the environment, including
    its effects on aquatic and terrestrial organisms, are limited. 
    Beryllium levels in surface waters (g/litre range) and soils (mg/kg
    dry weight range) are usually low and probably do not negatively
    affect the environment.

    2.4  Effects on Animals

    Implantation of beryllium compounds and metallic beryllium in the
    subcutaneous tissues may produce granulomas similar to those observed
    in human beings.  Guinea-pigs develop cutaneous hypersensitivity on
    intradermal injection of soluble beryllium compounds.

    Various animal species develop acute chemical pneumonitis following
    the inhalation of beryllium metal or different beryllium compounds. 
    Long-term, low-level exposure results in chronic pneumonitis
    associated with granulomata.  This response only partly corresponds to
    the chronic disease in human beings.

    The inhalation toxicity of insoluble beryllium oxide depends on its
    physical and chemical properties.  Because the ultimate particle size
    and the aggregates formed are smaller, "low-fired" (500-750 C)
    beryllium oxides are toxic, whereas "high-fired" (> 1000 C)
    beryllium oxides appear to be relatively inert.

    Beryllium metal exposed to the air develops an oxide coating on the
    surface and behaves toxicologically like the low-fired variety. 
    Soluble beryllium compounds precipitate as the hydroxide after
    deposition in the lung.  The ageing of these precipitates also yields
    a beryllium oxide that toxicologically resembles the low-fired

    Beryllium interacts with DNA and causes gene mutations, chromosomal
    aberrations, and sister chromatid exchanges in cultured mammalian
    somatic cells, though it is not mutagenic in bacterial test systems.

    Intravenous and intramedullary injections of beryllium metal and
    various beryllium compounds have produced bone cancer in the rabbit,
    but not in the guinea-pig, rat, or mouse.  Inhalation or intratracheal
    exposure has induced lung tumours in the rat, but not in the rabbit,
    hamster, or guinea-pig.  Despite some deficiencies in study design and
    laboratory practice, the carcinogenic activity of beryllium in
    different animals has been confirmed.

    2.5  Effects on Human Beings

    Cases of acute beryllium disease resulting in nasopharyngitis,
    bronchitis, and severe chemical pneumonitis have drastically decreased
    and, today, may only occur as a consequence of failures in control
    systems.  Chronic beryllium disease differs from the acute form in
    having a latent period ranging from several weeks to more than 20
    years and being of long duration and progressive in severity.  The
    primary effect is on the lung.  Granulomatous inflammation of the lung
    associated with dyspnoea on exertion, cough, chest pain, weight loss,
    and general weakness is the typical feature.  Effects on other organs
    may be secondary rather than systemic.  The great variability in
    latency and the lack of dose-response relationships may be explained
    by immunological sensitization.  The incidence of chronic beryllium
    disease has clearly decreased.  However, this disease may still occur
    among sensitized individuals who have been exposed to concentrations
    of around 2 g/m3.

    Depending on individual susceptibility, direct contact with soluble
    beryllium salts can cause delayed (contact) dermatitis, occasionally
    associated with conjunctivitis.  When beryllium compounds are retained
    in, or beneath, the skin, chronic granulomatous ulcerations develop.

    Several epidemiological studies have provided evidence of an excess
    lung cancer risk from occupational exposure to beryllium.  The
    interpretation of these results has been questioned, but the available
    data indicate that beryllium is the most likely explanation for the
    excess lung cancer observed in exposed workers.


    The health hazards of beryllium are almost exclusively confined to
    inhalation exposure and skin contact.  Unless beryllium is released
    into the environment accidentally, the general population is exposed
    only to very low levels of airborne beryllium that do not pose a
    health hazard.  Because of the high sensitization and allergenic
    potential of ionic beryllium, the use of beryllium for dental
    prostheses should be reconsidered.

    3.1  Acute Beryllium Disease

    Occupational exposure to beryllium poses a health hazard that may
    result in skin lesions and adverse effects on the respiratory tract. 
    Acute beryllium disease can be encountered after exposure to
    relatively high concentrations of beryllium in fumes and dust
    (> 100 g/m3).  Because control measures have improved, such high
    concentrations are not expected to occur in today's occupational

    3.2  Chronic Beryllium Disease

    Hundreds of cases of chronic beryllium disease have been diagnosed in
    various countries throughout the world.  The vast majority of these
    cases have resulted from previous exposure to high concentrations of
    beryllium during the extraction and smelting of beryllium, fluorescent
    tube production (no longer a source of beryllium exposure), and
    beryllium metal production.

    More recently, cases of beryllium disease have been diagnosed
    following rather low-level exposures (around 2 g/m3). The results
    of recent studies suggest that some degree of immunological
    responsiveness to beryllium may be common among workers who have been
    exposed for more than 10 years.  The present occupational exposure
    standards may not exclude the development of chronic beryllium disease
    in beryllium-sensitized individuals.

    Whatever their occupation, individuals suspected of having
    sarcoidosis, should be evaluated for immunological sensitivity to
    beryllium, because of possible unawareness of exposure to beryllium.

    3.3  Cancer

    Many studies on experimental animals have provided sufficient evidence
    that beryllium is carcinogenic.  The available epidemiological data
    indicate that beryllium is the most likely single explanation for the
    excess lung cancer observed in exposed workers.


    4.1  Main Human Health Hazards, Prevention and Protection, First Aid

    Inhalation and skin exposure to beryllium and its compounds can be
    extremely hazardous.  When handling the metal, alloy, or components,
    it must be borne in mind that, unless special care has been taken,
    they may be contaminated on the surface with a film of beryllium oxide
    powder.  The effects of exposure to beryllium, their prevention, and
    first-aid recommendations are given in the Summary of Chemical Safety
    Information (section 6).

    4.1.1  Advice to physicians

    Irritant and allergic dermatitis may occur as a result of skin
    contact; ulcers and local and distal granulomas may develop following
    skin implantation, if adequate debridement is not promptly performed. 
    Accidental over-exposure to fine particulate beryllium, or its
    compounds, may result in acute responses in the upper and lower
    respiratory tract, ranging from a mild inflammation of the nasal
    mucous membranes and pharynx to tracheobronchitis and to severe
    chemical pneumonitis with lung oedema.  Cases with acute respiratory
    symptoms following acute inhalation of the dust should be admitted to
    hospital for assessment.

    In subjects who become immunologically sensitized, exposure to
    respirable beryllium may produce chronic beryllium disease with a
    latent period of a few weeks to several years.  Granulomatous
    inflammation of the lung associated with dyspnoea on exertion, cough,
    chest pain, weight loss, fatigue, and general weakness is the typical
    feature; right heart enlargement, cyanosis, and finger clubbing may
    also occur.  The lung changes are very similar to those that occur in
    sarcoidosis or other granulomatous diseases.  There is also a possible
    risk of lung cancer.

    4.1.2  Health surveillance advice

    (a)  A specialist medical examination should be provided to consider
    the fitness of applicants for work that involves exposure to beryllium
    or its compounds; special conditions of work might be applied to

    The following points should be considered:

         (i)   Previous or existing lung disease of a recurring or chronic

         (ii)  Ventilatory function;

         (iii) All conditions of an allergic nature;

         (iv)  Skin conditions that do not permit effective cleansing;

    (b)  Workers potentially exposed to beryllium or its compounds should
    undergo periodic examinations at intervals decided by the doctor.
    Examinations might include:

         (i)   Spirometry, including forced vital capacity (FVC) and
               forced expiratory volume at one second (FEV1) and peak
               flow measurements;

         (ii)  An appropriate medical history and examination;

         (iii) A chest X-ray taken in accordance with ILO recommendations
               on technique in radiography for the pneumonoconioses.

    (c)  Regular environmental hygiene monitoring should be undertaken to
    include, as appropriate, wipe tests, determination of background
    levels, and personal monitoring near the breathing zone.

    4.2  Explosion and Fire Hazards

    4.2.1  Explosion hazards

    Very fine particulate beryllium may be explosive.

    4.2.2  Fire hazards

    On burning, fine particulate beryllium emits bright light and intense
    heat (4500C in oxygen).  Beryllium powder reacts with chlorine,
    fluorine, bromine, iodine, or phosphorus to form flammable gases or
    vapours, and with acids to form hazardous gases or vapours.

    4.2.3  Prevention

    Use closed systems, local exhaust ventilation, explosion-protected,
    well-earthed, electrical equipment and lighting.  Prevent beryllium
    dust or powders coming into contact with flames or hot surfaces.

    4.2.4  Fire-extinguishing agents

    Use sand, soda ash, or commercial metal fire extinguishing powder.  Do
    not use water or carbon dioxide.

    4.3  Storage

    Store fine particulate beryllium and compounds and alloys of beryllium
    in closed, clearly labelled structures or containers.  Containers
    should be designed and safely handled to prevent accidental breakage. 
    Access to storage areas should be limited to authorized persons, who
    should be provided with, and trained in the use of, protective
    equipment appropriate to reasonable foreseeable exposures.

    4.4  Transport

    Comply with any local requirements regarding movement of hazardous
    goods.  Check that containers are sound and correctly labelled before
    dispatch.  In case of accident, stop the engine.  If beryllium powder
    is released, remove all sources of ignition.  Do not smoke.  Keep
    bystanders at a distance and post hazard signs on the roadway.  Keep
    upwind.  In case of spillage or fire, use the methods advised in
    sections 4.5 and 4.2, respectively.  Notify the police and the fire
    brigade immediately.

    4.5  Spillage

    If beryllium-containing dust, fume, or mist is released or spilt,
    persons not wearing protective equipment should be excluded from the
    danger area.  Remove ignition sources.  Neither dry sweeping nor
    compressed air should be used for cleaning up.  Only a special
    purpose, high-efficiency filter, industrial vacuum cleaner should be
    used in decontamination.

    4.6  Disposal

    Beryllium wastes and scrap should be collected, disposed of in clearly
    labelled, sealed bags or other closed containers, and either recycled
    or buried in an approved dump.  Comply with local regulations.

    Beryllium waste should be recycled, whenever possible.  Liquid or
    solid waste with too low a beryllium concentration to warrant recovery
    should be disposed of in special dumps.  Prior to disposal, the
    beryllium compound involved must be converted into the chemically
    inert, but biologically quite active, oxide.

    Beryllium powder, and beryllium carbonate, chloride, and selenate
    wastes should be converted into inert oxides, using incineration and
    particulate recovery techniques.  If possible, these oxides should be
    recycled; otherwise, they may be disposed of in a landfill. 
    Beryllium-copper alloys can also be disposed of in a landfill. 
    Soluble beryllium compounds should be converted to the insoluble
    hydroxide before solidification.  Beryllium compounds should not be
    heated to high temperatures, unless the apparatus is equipped with
    absolute filters.


    Beryllium does not pose a significant hazard for aquatic and
    terrestrial life, except in cases of accident or inappropriate
    disposal.  Contamination of soil, water, and the atmosphere can be
    avoided by proper methods of storage, transport, and waste disposal.


     This summary should be easily available to all health workers
     concerned with, and users of, beryllium. It should be displayed at,
     or near, entrances to areas where there is potential exposure to
     beryllium, and on processing equipment and containers.  The summary
     should be translated into the appropriate language(s).  All persons
     potentially exposed to the chemical should also have the instructions
     in the summary clearly explained.

     Space is available for insertion of the National Occupational
     Exposure Limit, the address and telephone number of the  National
     Poison Control Centre, and for local trade names.


    (Be) (CAS registry no. 7440-41-7)


    PHYSICAL PROPERTIES                                           OTHER CHARACTERISTICS

    Atomic weight                   9.01                          Light, steel-grey metal; powder is explosive and flammable;  it
    Boiling point (C)              2970                          reacts with bromine, chlorine, fluoride, iodine, and phosphorus 
    Melting point (C)              1278                          to form flammable compounds, and with acids to form
    Specific density (g/cm3)        1.85 (20C)                   hazardous gases or vapours; inhalation and dermal exposure
    Water solubility                insoluble                     to beryllium, and its compounds and alloys can be highly hazardous 
    Vapour pressure (hPa) (C)      0 (20); 0.000133 (990)        for human beings


    HAZARDS/SYMPTOMS                        PREVENTION AND PROTECTION                    FIRST AID

    Potential human carcinogen              Prevent dispersion of dust, fume,
                                            or mist; use engineering controls,
                                            work practices, and respiratory
                                            protection to minimize exposure

    SKIN: Irritation, redness, lesions      Wear clean impervious protective clothing    Wash skin with soap and plenty of 
    following contact; abscess and          and gloves; do not wear work clothing        water; remove contaminated clothing;
    ulcers following contamination of       outside the work-place                       obtain medical attention

    EYES: Irritation, redness, pain         Wear face shield or goggles                  Rinse eyes immediately with water for
                                                                                         at least 10 minutes; refer to doctor

    INHALATION: Irritation of               Avoid inhalation of dusts, fumes, or         Remove from contact with beryllium;
    respiratory tract; cough, chest         mists;  use local exhaust ventilation and,   obtain medical attention
    pain, general weakness, and             in case of insufficient engineering 
    tiredness;  pneumonitis and lung        controls, wear respirators;  remove 
    oedema may be fatal                     dust by vacuuming and water-spraying,
                                            not by dry methods;  prevent dispersion
                                            of beryllium from clothing

    INGESTION: Unlikely
    occupational hazard

    ENVIRONMENT: May be                     Apply proper methods of storage, 
    hazardous for aquatic and               transport, handling, and waste
    terrestral life in case of accident     disposal
    or inappropriate disposal


    SPILLAGE                                STORAGE                                      FIRE AND EXPLOSION

    In case of release or spillage of       Store materials that may release             Very fine dusts or powders of beryllium
    dust, fume, or mist remove ignition     particulate matter in closed,                may be explosive;  no open fires, no sparks,
    sources; wear protective equipment;     well-labelled buildings or containers;       no smoking;  use closed systems, ventilation,
    avoid dry sweeping or compressed        prevent breakage of containers; only         explosion-protected, electrical equipment;
    air for cleaning up; use only a         authorized personnel should have             make connections to earth;  use sand,
    specific-purpose, high-efficiency,      access to storage areas                      soda ash, or commercial metal 
    filtered, industrial vacuum cleaner                                                  fire-extinguishing powder;  do not use water 
                                                                                         or carbon dioxide


    WASTE DISPOSAL                          NATIONAL INFORMATION

    Dispose of in clearly labelled sealed   National occupational exposure limit:        United Nations No.: 1567
    bags or other closed containers; 
    recycle or bury in approved dump;
    comply with local regulations

                                            National Poison Control Centre:              Labelling:



    The information given in this section has been extracted from the
    International Register of Potentially Toxic Chemicals (IRPTC) legal
    file. A full reference to the original national document from which
    the information was extracted can be obtained from IRPTC.  When no
    effective date appears in the IRPTC legal file, the year of the
    reference from which the data are taken is indicated by (r).

    The reader should be aware that regulatory decisions about chemicals,
    taken in a certain country, can only be fully understood in the
    framework of the legislation of that country.  Furthermore, the
    regulations and guidelines of all countries are subject to change and
    should always be verified with appropriate regulatory authorities
    before application.

    7.1  Exposure Limit Values

    Some exposure limit values are given in the table on pp. 24-28.

    7.2  Specific Restrictions

    In the Federal Republic of Germany, security measures are required in
    specified industrial plants and factories to prevent, or to limit, the
    effects of incidents in which beryllium could be released, produced,
    catch fire, or explode, and cause a public danger.

    In the United Kingdom, atmospheric emissions from factories producing,
    treating, or processing beryllium or its compounds are controlled. 
    The responsible person must use the best practicable means to prevent
    emission of fumes or dusts into the atmosphere, and to render harmless
    and inoffensive any emissions.

    The European Economic Community (EEC) requires member states to limit
    the introduction of beryllium and its compounds into ground water by
    controlling all direct and indirect discharges.  The USA classifies
    beryllium and its compounds as toxic pollutants for water, for which
    the US EPA sets industrial effluent limitation and pretreatment
    standards and requires permits for discharge from any point source
    into water.



    Medium      Specification       Country/            Exposure limit descriptiona                  Value                Effective
                                    organization                                                                          date

    AIR         Work-place          Argentina           Maximum permissible concentration (MPC)                           1979
                                                        - Time-weighted average (TWA)                0.002 mg/m3
                                                        - Short-term exposure limit (STEL)           0.0025 mg/m3

                                    Austria             Threshold limit value (TLV)                  0.002 mg/m3          1985 (r)
                                                        - Time-weighted average (TWA)

                                    Belgium             Threshold limit value (TLV)                                       1987 (r)
                                                        - Time-weighted average (TWA)                0.002 mg/m3

                                    Bulgaria            Maximum permissible concentration (MPC)      0.001 mg/m3          1985 (r)

                                    Canada              Threshold limit value (TLV)                                       1980
                                                        - Time-weighted average (TWA)                0.002 mg/m3

                                    Czechoslovakia      Maximum allowable concentration (MAC)                             1985
                                                        - Time-weighted average (TWA)                0.001 mg/m3
                                                        - Ceiling value (CLV)                        0.002 mg/m3

                                    Finland             Maximum permissible concentration (MPC)                           1985 (r)
                                                        - Time-weighted average (TWA)                0.002 mg/m3

                                    German              Maximum allowable concentration (MAC)                             1985 (r)
                                    Democratic          - Time-weighted average (TWA)                0.002 mg/m3
                                    Republic            - Short-term exposure limit (STEL)           0.002 mg/m3


    Medium      Specification       Country/            Exposure limit description                   Value                Effective
                                    organization                                                                          date

    AIR         Work-place          Germany,            Technical reference concentration (TRK)                           1982 (r)
                                    Federal             - Time-weighted average (TWA)                0.005 mg/m3
                                    Republic of                                                      (grinding
                                                        Carcinogen (no MAK value established)        activities)
                                                                                                     0.002 mg/m3
                                                                                                     (all other

                                    Hungary             Maximum allowable concentration (MAC)                             1985 (r)
                                                        - Time-weighted average (TWA)                0.001 mg/m3
                                                        - Short-term exposure limit (STEL)           0.001 mg/m3
                                                          (30 min)

                                    Italy               Threshold limit value (TLV)                  0.002 mg/m3          1985 (r)
                                                        - Time-weighted average (TWA)                (provisional

                                    Japan               Maximum allowable concentration (MAC)                             1986 (r)
                                                        - Time-weighted average (TWA)                0.002 mg/m3

                                    Netherlands         Maximum limit (MXL)                                               1987 (r)
                                                        - Time-weighted average (TWA)                0.002 mg/m3

                                    Poland              Maximum permissible concentration (MPC)                           1985 (r)
                                                        - Ceiling value (CLV)                        0.001 mg/m3

                                    Romania             Maximum permissible concentration (MPC)                           1985 (r)
                                                        - Ceiling value (CLV)                        0.001 mg/m3

                                    Sweden              Hygienic limit value (HLV)                                        1988
                                                        - Time-weighted average (TWA)                0.002 mg/m3
                                                         (1 day)                                     (carcinogen)


    Medium      Specification       Country/            Exposure limit description                   Value                Effective
                                    organization                                                                          date

    AIR         Work-place          Switzerland         Maximum work-place concentration (MAK)       0.002 mg/m3          1987 (r)
                                                        - Time-weighted average (TWA)                (carcinogen)

                                    United Kingdom      Recommended limit (RECL)                                          1987 (r)
                                                        - Time-weighted average (TWA)                0.002 mg/m3

                                    USA (OSHA)          Permissible exposure limit (PEL)
                                    (regulatory)        - Time-weighted average                      0.002 mg/m3
                                                        - Ceiling concentration                      0.005 mg/m3
                                                        - Peak concentration                         0.025 mg/m3

                                    USA (NIOSH)         Recommended exposure limit (REL)             <0.0005 mg/m3        1977
                                    (advisory)                                                       (potential human
                                    USA (ACGIH)         Threshold limit value (TLV)                  0.002 mg/m3          1987 (r)
                                    (advisory)          - Time-weighted average (TWA)                (suspected 

                                    USSR                Maximum allowable concentration (MAC)                             1977
                                                        - Ceiling value (CLV)                        0.001 mg/m3

    AIR         Ambient             USSR                Preliminary safety limit (PSL)                                    1983
                                                        - Peak concentration (1 per day)             0.00001 mg/m3

    AIR         Emissions           Germany,            Maximum limit (MXL)                          0.1 mg/m3, at        1986
                                    Federal             - Time-weighted average (TWA)                a mass flow
                                    Republic of                                                      of 0.5 g/h
                                                                                                     or more, for
                                                                                                     all Class I
                                                                                                     which includes 


    Medium      Specification       Country/            Exposure limit description                   Value                Effective
                                    organization                                                                          date

    AIR         Emissions           USA                 Maximum limit (MXL)
                                                        - 30-day average                             0.01 g/m3

                                    USA                 Maximum limit (MXL)
                                                        - Rocket applications:                       75 g min/m3
                                                            10-60 minutes accumulated during
                                                            2 consecutive weeks

                                                        - Collected combustion products:             2 g/h or
                                                                                                     10 g/day

    WATER       Surface             USSR                Maximum allowable concentration (MAC)        0.2 g/litre         1985

    WATER       Drinking-           USSR                Maximum allowable concentration (MAC)        0.2 g/litre         1985


    a TWA = time-weighted average over one working day (usually 8 h).

    Beryllium and its compounds are classified as "hazardous waste" for
    purposes of import or export by the EEC; transport is supervised and
    controlled.  Waste containing or contaminated with beryllium or its
    compounds is classified by the EEC as "toxic and dangerous waste" and
    its disposal is subject to control.  In the United Kingdom, waste
    consisting of, or containing, beryllium or its compounds is considered
    as "special waste" and its production, disposal, or importation is
    controlled.  The USA permits the burning of beryllium and
    beryllium-containing waste (except propellants) only in incinerators
    complying with emission standards.

    The EEC bans the use and marketing of cosmetic products containing
    beryllium or its compounds.

    7.3  Labelling, Packaging, and Transport

    In the EEC, beryllium and its compounds, with the exception of
    aluminium beryllium silicates, are classified as toxic for labelling
    and packaging purposes.  The label must read:

          Very toxic by inhalation and in contact with skin.  Irritating
          to respiratory system.  Danger of very serious irreversible
          effects.  In case of contact with eyes rinse immediately with
          plenty of water and seek medical advice.  After contact with
          skin wash immediately.  In case of accident or if you feel
          unwell, seek medical advice immediately.

    For marine transport, metallic beryllium powder and beryllium
    compounds are classified by the International Maritime Organization
    (IMO) as poisonous substances, presenting medical danger.  Beryllium
    is also classified as flammable.  The United Nations classification of
    beryllium and beryllium compounds for the transport of dangerous goods
    is "poisonous substance" and, for packing, a "substance presenting
    medium danger".


    ACGIH  (1986)   Documentation of the threshold limit values and
     biological exposure indices, Cincinnati, American Conference of
    Governmental Industrial Hygienists.

    CLAYTON, G.D. & CLAYTON, F.E.  (1981)   Patty's Industrial Hygiene and
     Toxicology, Vol. 2A, New York, Wiley - Interscience, John Wiley &

     Clinical toxicology of commercial products, 4th ed., Baltimore,
    Maryland, Williams and Wilkins Company.

    DUTCH ASSOCIATION OF SAFETY EXPERTS  (1980)   Handling chemicals
     safely, 2nd ed., Dutch Association of Safety Experts, Dutch Chemical
    Industry Association, Dutch Safety Institute.

    IRPTC (1989)   Data profile (legal file, waste disposal file,
     treatment of poisoning file), Geneva, International Register for
    Potentially Toxic Chemicals, United Nations Environment Programme.

    New York, Genium Publishing Corporation.

    SAX, N.I.  (1984)   Dangerous properties of industrial materials, New
    York, Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, Inc.

    US NIOSH  (1976)  A guide to industrial respiratory protection,
    Cincinnati, Ohio, US National Institute for Occupational Safety and

    US NIOSH/OSHA  (1981)  Occupational health guidelines for chemical
     hazards, Washington DC, US National Institute for Occupational
    Safety and Health,  Occupational Safety and Health Association 3 Vol.
    (Publication No. 01-123).

    US NIOSH/OSHA  (1985)  Pocket guide to chemical hazards, Washington,
    DC, US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 
    Occupational Safety and Health Association (Publication No. 85.114).

    WHO  (1990)  EHC 106: Beryllium, Geneva, World Health Organization.


    See Also:
       Toxicological Abbreviations
       Beryllium (EHC 106, 1990)
       Beryllium (ICSC)
       Beryllium (UKPID)