According to a recent U.S. Department of Labor Hazard Information Bulletin, cases of chronic beryllium disease (CBD) are continuing to occur among dental laboratory technicians working with dental alloys containing beryllium.
CBD is a progressive disabling and potentially fatal lung disease.
The Department of Labor Bulletin states: “If you have repaired or fabricated dental appliances or restorations made from beryllium-containing alloys and have developed any of the symptoms listed below, you should inform your employer and health-care professional of your past beryllium exposure, or seek information from a health-care professional who specializes in occupational lung diseases, to determine whether you may have developed CBD:
- unexplained cough
- shortness of breath
- weight loss or loss of appetite
- fever or night sweats
If you do not have any of the above symptoms but are concerned that you may have become sensitized to beryllium, you should inform your employer and health-care professional that you would like to be tested with the blood BeLPT.
Dental alloys containing beryllium are marketed under a variety of trade names, including Litecast B, Pisces and Will-ceram Lite-cast B.
Lipsitz & Ponterio represents individuals suffering from CBD.