Berylliosis is an occupational lung disease. It occurs in people who work with beryllium. Berylliosis usually only occurs in people who have an allergic sensitivity to beryllium. This is about 2% of the US population.
Beryllium is a metallic element that is found in rocks, coal, soil, and volcanic dust. It is used in certain industries.
There are two types of berylliosis: acute and chronic.
Berylliosis is caused by inhalation or other exposure (such as through an open skin wound) to beryllium dust or fumes.
Acute berylliosis is caused by brief exposure. It is very rare today. Chronic berylliosis is caused by long-term exposure. It is more common than acute, but still relatively unusual.
A risk factor is something that increases your chance of getting a disease or condition. The primary risk factor for berylliosis is working in an area where beryllium is processed. Industries that use beryllium include:
Nuclear weapons and reactors
Dental alloy preparation
Although the risk is extremely low, people who live near such industries have a slightly higher risk of getting berylliosis than those who do not.
Symptoms of acute berylliosis come on suddenly and rapidly. The main symptoms are due to severe lung inflammation. These symptoms include:
Coughing, possibly bringing up blood-tinged sputum
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a