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Speaking of Precision Blog

Speaking of Precision

Speaking of Precision is a knowledge preservation and thought leadership blog covering the precision machining industry, its materials and services. With over 36 years of hands on experience in steelmaking, manufacturing, quality, and management, Miles Free (Milo) Director of Industry Research and Technology at PMPA helps answer "How?" "With what?" and occasionally "Really?"

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Beryllium Standard Final Rule: Do You Machine Beryllium?

Posted August 07, 2018 1:17 PM by Milo

The 2017 final rule established new permissible exposure limits.

It also included provisions to protect employees from exposure to Beryllium, such as

  • requirements for exposure assessment,
  • methods for controlling exposure,
  • respiratory protection,
  • personal protective clothing and equipment,
  • housekeeping,
  • medical surveillance,
  • hazard communication,
  • recordkeeping

Do you machine Beryllium in your shop?

Have you evaluated your compliance to the above 8 points of regulatory concern?

Do you know the key regulatory enforcement and compliance dates?

Beryllium Copper is not only used in electrical applications!

If your shop machines any of the following Beryllium Copper grades, it does apply to you:

Beryllium Coppers C17000, C17200, C17300, C17410, C17500, C17510

The rule applies to occupational exposure to Beryllium in all forms, compounds, and mixtures in
general industry, construction, and shipyards.

  • Employers that are covered under the rule must use engineering and work practice controls to
    keep exposures at or below the PELs.
  • Engineering controls include using process isolation, ventilated enclosures, or local
    exhaust ventilation to keep beryllium from being dispersed throughout a work area.
  • Examples of work practices to control beryllium exposures include keeping surfaces
    clean by using a HEPA-filtered vacuum or by wetting down dust before sweeping it up.
  • If engineering and work practice controls cannot keep exposures at or below the PEL,
    employers must provide respiratory protection to affected employees.

PMPA is providing members with sensemaking regarding this final rule, compliance dates and strategies, and helpful links to better understand their responsibilities.

PMPA Beryllium Final Rule Members Only

Photo of VR38 Nissan GTR Beryllium Copper Valve Seats courtesy of Fast Forward Race Engines on Facebook

Not a PMPA member? Contact Matthew Hooper to learn more mhooper@pmpa.org.


Editor's note: CR4 would like to thank Milo for sharing his blog, which can also be read here.

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Re: Beryllium Standard Final Rule: Do You Machine Beryllium?

08/09/2018 1:54 PM

Beryllium is one of the most toxic elements, which may seem rather strange since none of the similar elements in the same period or group on the periodic table share this characteristic. It seems that the toxicity is due to an immunological response.

"About 85 percent of people who develop chronic beryllium disease after getting exposed have an immune system protein known as HLA-DP2, according to recent research published in July 2014 in the journal Cell. In the study, researchers determined that the bodies of people who have this protein create a unique molecular "pocket," which captures beryllium ions and triggers an inflammatory response in the lungs.

"The immune system does not actually 'see' beryllium," study author John Kappler, a researcher at National Jewish Health, said in a statement. "The beryllium changes the shape of otherwise innocuous self-peptides [peptides produced by the body's own tissues] so that T cells recognize them as foreign and dangerous." (T cells are white blood cells that are essential for one's immunity.) He added that the new findings could one day lead to new therapeutic strategies to treat and prevent chronic beryllium disease."

https://www.livescience.com/28641-beryllium.html

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