FAQS about Chronic Beryllium Disease

What is beryllium?

Beryllium is a silver-grey metal element; it is lighter than aluminum but harder than steel. It is a naturally occurring metallic element in the form of beryl in soil and bertrandite in rock. Beryllium is a good electrical and thermal conductor. It is non-magnetic.

What is beryllium sensitization?

Sensitization is not a disease but an allergic reaction; beryllium sensitization refers to the allergic response of a person when he breathes beryllium dust and fumes. When a person is exposed to beryllium, his immune system sees beryllium as a foreign body and it builds an army of cell to attack beryllium when they see it.

I have been diagnosed with chronic beryllium disease, can I still resume work?

Your ability to return to work depends on several factors including your over-all health status and the type of work that you do. Some CBD patients return to work doing the same job and work schedule or sometimes a different one, as the disease slowly progresses.

Can I get compensation for my disease?

After you have been diagnosed to have developed chronic beryllium disease in your work, you can file for compensation claims in order for you to recover lost wages and to assist in your treatment and future medical care. CBD patients are entitled to a lump sum payment of $150,000 in addition to a lifetime medical care. Check the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program for more information.

What is the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act?

The Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act (EECICPA) is a law passed in 2000 that delivers benefits to the employees and former employees of the Department of Energy (DOE) including its contractors and subcontractors who have been exposed to beryllium in their workplace and thus developed beryllium sensitization and chronic beryllium disease.

Can I exercise even if I have CBD?

Yes, CBD patients can exercise in order to improve their health and lung functions. Exercising on regular basis can help improve shortness of breath, make the heart stronger, decrease blood pressure and improve mood. It also helps to lose weight and reduce fatigue.

Should I quit smoking?

Smoking if you have been diagnosed with CBD can worsen your condition. If you develop smoking-related disease like emphysema, it can be aggravated by beryllium exposure. Because tobacco and beryllium are both carcinogenic elements, this may result to lung cancer so it is important to get rid of

Does beryllium cause cancer?

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) identified beryllium as human carcinogen. Many researches have noted a link between beryllium related lung disease and lung cancer. In recent years, beryllium sensitization and chronic beryllium disease has reduced due to the stringent measures by employers to adhere to the beryllium limits set by the OSHA.