Beryllium, the criteria document Page: 3 of 13
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followed the history of these standards this comes as no
surprise and this is one of the reasons there has been no
urgency about the formal adoption of an OSHA standard.
People who regularly work with beryllium have long been
aware of these standards and most have already been ob-
The question is inevitably raised as to whether
these standards are soundly based on experimental data and
observations and whether they are realistic. There is
even considerable folklore -- only partly apocryphyl --
about their origin. There is good information testifying
to the fact where the standards are followed, beryllium
disease is essentially non-existant. Whether the standard
could be raised significantly and still provide adequate
protection is a question which probably never will be
answered. The standard when adopted by the Atomic Energy
Commission in 1949 essentially demanded full compliance
and the Atomic Energy Commission was in a position to re-
quire such compliance by its contractors, who were the
major suppliers and fabricators of beryllium. Thus, there
would be a natural reluctance on the part of any of.these
contractors to show that their people were working in con-
centrations in excess of the standard.
The most serious effects of beryllium exposure often
come many years after exposure has ceased and this greatly
complicates the effort to relate exposure to effect in a
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Schulte, H.F. Beryllium, the criteria document, article, January 1, 1973; New Mexico. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1036190/m1/3/: accessed April 26, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.