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Location(s):
CHESS laboratory, operations and experimental areas.

Chemical Forms:
Beryllium Copper
Beryllium Metal (gray solid form)
Beryllium oxide (white powder)
Beryllium dust (fine or invisible particulate dust)

Specified Hazards:
Beryllium-containing materials, in solid form and as finished parts, present no particular health hazard.  However, exposure to the dust or fumes from Beryllium metal, metal oxides, alloys, ceramics or salts has the potential to cause serious and fatal health effects, including diseases of the skin or lung such as Chronic Beryllium Disease (CBD), Beryllium sensitization and allergy, acute Beryllium disease, and cancer.  In case of a spill see sect. 10.

  1. Purchasing:  CHESS Laboratory personnel (all Scientific and Technical staff members) have approval to purchase Beryllium metal and manufactured parts containing Beryllium in solid form.  Purchasing Beryllium powders, oxides, salts or any other Beryllium-based chemicals requires advance approval of the CHESS Safety Committee.  The Materials Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for these materials are available in the CHESS chemical room cabinet (Wilson 170).  Quantities of this material will be limited to the smallest amount necessary to carry out the proposed function.

  2. Storage:  Beryllium metal should be stored in dry locations to prevent oxidation and covered at all times to prevent human contact.  Pieces of Beryllium metal and manufactured parts should always be sealed in plastic bags with a desiccant pack with appropriate warning labels.  The desiccant will turn from blue to pink when it becomes saturated with moisture indicating that it is time to replace the desiccant after inspection for oxidation.  Unattached Beryllium metal stock should be stored in the Be Storage Cabinet.  Cabinets and other storage areas that hold Beryllium metal and manufactured parts are to be clearly marked with warning labels on outside doors.  A separate cabinet is used for storage of Beryllium cleanup equipment.

  3. Authorized Personnel:
    3.1 Staff:  The word "staff" in this document refers to all persons recognized by Cornell University as being members of the "CHESS Center", including all CHESS, MacCHESS, G-line personnel and resident students.  When properly trained, these staff members are authorized to use Beryllium metal and manufactured parts.
    3.2 Scientific users and laboratory visitors:  Users and laboratory visitors may use manufactured parts that contain Beryllium such as x-ray detectors and flight tubes.  Users and visitors should not make use of Beryllium in any of its chemical forms without prior approval of the CHESS Safety Committee.
    3.3  Beryllium Decontamination (BD) group:  A small group of staff is identified, trained and equipped for special assignments in Beryllium decontamination (BD).  The BD personnel are the only staff approved to carry out the procedures outlined in sections 7- "Waste Disposal" and 8- "Decontamination".  This group will be outfitted with personal protective equipment as outlined in section 6 below.
    3.4 CHESS Safety Committee:  The CHESS Safety Committee, in conjunction with the Wilson Laboratory Safety Committee, has the final approval authority for any and all procedures and actions related to Beryllium use, staff training, decontamination and disposal.  This document can only be altered with prior approval of this committee or by two members of this committee.

  4. Training Requirements:
    4.1 General staff training:  All staff must receive the following training:
    -Review of the Beryllium MSDS
    -Review of the departmental Standard Operating Procedure (this document)
    -Review of the Cornell Chemical Hygiene Plan
    -Chemical Safety for Laboratory Workers (Cornell EH&S)
    -Chemical Waste (Hazardous Waste/RCRA) Training (Cornell EH&S)
    4.2 Scientific users and laboratory visitors:  All users and visitors to the laboratory receive training in Beryllium safety during User Orientation.  Any equipment brought to CHESS with Be must have the Be contained or be approved by the CHESS Safety Committee.
    4.3  Beryllium Decontamination Group training:  A small group of staff will receive extra training and medical screening so that they may carry out disposal and decontamination procedures below.
    -EH&S course on Respirator Use and Function (annual certification required)
    -Medical screening and tests as appropriate by Gannett:  Cornell University Health Services.  At present, this includes satisfactorily passing an initial baseline medical exam, chest x-ray, baseline spirometry test (lung test) and blood test for Beryllium sensitivity.
    -Review of Cornell Waste Disposal Procedures
    -Maintaining certification consists of:
    a) Annual fittings of Personnel Protective Equipment - Powered Air Purifying Respirators (PAPRs) are recommended for they have many advantages over the half face respirators - Clean air is pumped into a tyvek hood which is exhausted through the edges and chin of the loose fitting hood.  This offers cooling in addition to less breathing effort for the wearer and dust protection for the wearer's face and hair.  Only initial medical fit testing is required.  Facial hair is not an issue.  Also the protection factor is better, 25 for the PAPR vs 10 for the half face respirator.  Proper use and cleaning pf PAPRs (see section 6) is the only training needed.
    b) Follow cleanup protocol developed by the CHESS Safety Committee and the decontamination team.
    c) Participation in annual discussions about proper Be handling (timed with PPE fittings).
    4.4  Long-term medical monitoring:  After analyzing the procedures used, the test results from prior decontaminations, and the lack of reliable diagnostics and treatment of Chronic Beryllium Disease consultation with Dr. Edward Koppel, MD from Gannett Health Services at Cornell University, it has been determined that long-term medical monitoring is unnecessary.  However, medical diagnostic procedures will be made available to individuals who might have had contact with Be request such additional procedures.

  5. Use Locations:  Beryllium is used in many locations at CHESS, most often as a transparent x-ray window that separates vacuum or gaseous volumes.  Having a density of 1.845 grams per cubic centimeter, most pieces of Beryllium in use at CHESS are well below 1 gram in total mass.  A variety of use location, sizes and treatments are listed.  in all cases:
    a) All Beryllium metal and manufactured parts with Beryllium metal must have a "Beryllium identification label" and a "potential hazard warning label".
    b) All Beryllium metal and manufactured parts with Beryllium metal should be bagged or shielded so that people cannot touch the Beryllium component by casual proximity.  There are increased oxidation risks due to exposure to water or other corrosive environments.  Beryllium should not be immersed in water or subjected to high humidity.

    Many experimental stations have Beryllium windows that are coated with Aluminum 500Angstroms/side.  These are generally located where the windows may have long-term exposure to air such as the ends of beam pipes in the stations.  Although this process minimizes the possibility of Beryllium exposure, these should be handled in the same manner as non-coated windows.  It is the goal of the laboratory to coat windows in this manner wherever practical, in order to minimize personnel exposure.
    Where forces are being applied to Beryllium such as vacuum or pressure, design safety factors are listed.  The ultimate tensile strength of Beryllium is 65000psi, thus a design factor of 3 implies that the design force should not exceed 1/3 of 65000psi or 21600psi.
    5.1 Fabricating with Beryllium:  Beryllium metal should NOT be machined, sanded, cut, scraped, deburred, welded or treated in any manner that will remove material and possibly create fine-particle dust.  All Beryllium machining must be done by outside contractors or suppliers.  Machining and handling parts that have fixed, integral Beryllium metal is allowed as long as due caution is exercised to avoid contact with and contamination of the Beryllium pieces.
    5.2 Heat treatment of Beryllium:  With a melting point of 1278C and boiling point of 2970C, the vapor pressure of Beryllium metal is immeasurably low at standard vacuum baking (<400C) and brazing temperatures (~800C).  These forms of processing do not create hazardous fumes.  Due caution must be taken to avoid contact and fracture due to thermal or vacuum shock.
    5.3 X-ray detector windows:  NaI and solid-state x-ray detectors use small, thin foils of Beryllium prevent contact, these windows must be covered at all times by Kapton tape and warning labels must be affixed to the detector near the window.
    5.4 Cryostat shrouds and vacuum chamber windows:  Low temperature cryostat vacuum shrouds (i.e. Displex) and experimental vacuum chambers use thin Beryllium metal as chamber walls and x-ray viewports.  Quantities vary up to several grams.  In these cases, the Beryllium metal should be covered with non-adhesive Kapton or Mylar sheets to prevent human touch and provide physical barrier protection.  Where this is not possible the apparatus must be handled with gloves.  Vacuum and pressurized chambers must be designed with a minimum safety factor of 3 for over pressurizing and vacuum, and tested in a controlled environment prior to general use.  An in-line filter should be used on the vacuum line to prevent the contamination of the pump and to aid in the diagnosis of any pressurized upon warming up.  The pressure relief valves should be tested prior to each pump down.
    5.5
    monochromatic x-ray beam windows:  Thin Beryllium foils are used on beam pipes and optics box exit ports to contain an inert gas environment or vacuum.  Typical quantities are less than 1 gram.  These must be covered to prevent human contact.  in cases where intense x-ray beams create ozone that can cause Beryllium oxidation, special precautions for decontamination are listed below.
    a)  Windows must be designed with a minimum safety factor of 3 for over pressuring and vacuum, and tested in a controlled environment prior to general use.
    b)  Pressure relief valves should be installed to prevent over pressurizing when bringing the systems to atmospheric pressure.
    c)  The pressure relief valves should be tested prior to each pump down.
    5.6 X-ray white beam windows and filters:  Mostly contained inside vacuum chambers, x-ray windows and filters exposed to the direct x-ray beams from the synchrotron source have the potential to be heated to sublimation or melting.  A typical 4-inch x 0.75 inch x 0.01 inch window piece uses 0.88 gram of material.  All windows and enclosing chambers that have been exposed to intense x-ray beams should be tested for contamination and treated as potential hazards.  Reasonable effort will be made to conduct a visual inspection upon entering such chambers (for example mono boxes).  In addition periodic (beginning of down periods) wipe tests will be conducted.  In cases where wipe tests or visible inspection show loss of Beryllium from excess heating, the decontamination procedures outlined below must be observed.
    a)
    Windows and filter must be designed with a minimum safety factor of 3 for over pressurizing and vacuum, and tested in a controlled environment prior to general use.
    b)
    Pressure relief valves should be installed on the backfill systems to prevent over pressurizing when binging the systems to atmospheric pressure.  The pressure relief valves should be tested prior to connecting to the system.
    5.7 Chambers made of Be that are to be pressurized with a non-reactive, non-toxic,, non-flammable incompressible liquid:  Chambers are to be designed to fail in a manner to leak the pressurizing medium prior to failure.  The system must include a pressure relief mechanism that is designed to activate at a pressure not to exceed 25% less than the failure point.  This could be accomplished in many ways including a pressure relief valve or a manner to remove the pressure by shutting down the mechanism that provides the pressure.  All components to be pressurized, including transport tubing, must be specifically designed to maintain the desired pressure while minimizing couplings and to provide a secondary containment where it is determined pinholes could develop.  The system must be tested to a pressure that will either activate the pressure relief mechanism or create a leak that will ensure that the pressure does not exceed the pressure relief mechanism prior to arrival at CHESS in a manner that duplicates the setup that will be at the CHESS laboratory as close as reasonably achievable.

  6. Personal Protective Equipment:  All precautions should be taken so that no person comes in contact with Beryllium metal in any chemical form.  Gloves must be worn when touching Beryllium metal.  It is recommended as good practice that gloves be worn when handling all manufactured parts that contain Beryllium.  In situations where Beryllium dust or oxide are suspected or known and could become airborne, proper temporary protective outer-clothing (uncoated tyvek white suits are fine if no wet cleanup is required), nitrile gloves, goggles, and air-purifying respirators with HEPA filters must be used (see section 6.1 and 6.2).  After following safe handling procedures, personnel should exercise proper hygiene (washing hands, forearms, face) before eating, smoking, grooming or applying cosmetics.
    6.1 PAPR Usage:  Prior to use, the PAPR battery should be charged.  The output of the pump, if stored properly, will have tape over it.  Turn the pump on before removing the tape to prevent any particulate from entering the output side of the pump.  Use the airflow indicator to verify the output flow rate of the pump.  The indicator should hover in the airflow with the proper marking visible.  Once the pump has been verified as working properly, connect the hood and proceed with use.  Remember not to place anything inside the hood once you have put it on.  Sometimes it is helpful to place a clean tissue inside the hood ahead of time to wipe away sweat.
    6.2 PAPR Cleaning:  The PAPR should not be removed until all other protective garments are removed and contained properly.  Leave the pump turned on and remove the hood and pump unit.  The pump should not be turned off until the cleaning procedure is complete.  With a respirator wipe or other alcohol based wipe, wipe inside the hood and then outside the hood and connecting tube, then disconnect the pump and store the hood and connecting tube in a clean sealed plastic bag.  Wipe the outside of the pump unit then tape over the output of the unit, only then should the pump be turned off.  Store the pump in a clean sealed plastic bag ready for it's next use.

  7. Waste Disposal:  Waste is defined as Beryllium and Beryllium containing parts that will never be reused.  Beryllium metal is not classified as a hazardous material under federal law.  Beryllium metal is a recyclable product.  Members of the "Beryllium Decontamination Group" are the only staff authorized to use the following procedures:
    7.1 Cloths/towels/HEPA filters used for cleanup:  Cloths, towels and HEPA filters used for cleanup must be sealed in plastic bags and carried to a trash receptacle outside the building by the person who sealed the bag.  The HEPA filter on the vacuum should never need to be replaced due to the minimal use it sees.  The HEPA filter is most likely the most contaminated piece of equipment in the lab and has a high risk of producing airborne particulate.  The hose should be capped off before turning the vacuum off and only uncapped after the vacuum has been turned on.  The vacuum enclosure and fittings should be sealed with tape to prevent tampering.  The same idea follows for the filter used on the vacuum pump.  It has been fitted with valves on the input and output ports which are used to isolate the filter.  Backfilling volumes through the filter should never be done.  The small amounts of Beryllium dust found in the lab should never clog the filter.
    7.2 Solid Beryllium metal:  All solid Beryllium material waste must be returned for recycling to Brush Wellman, Inc.  Towels or cloths used for cleanup should be checked for recyclable fragments of Beryllium.

    Edwin Cruz
    Materion Electrofusion Products
    44036 S. Grimmer Blvd.
    Fremont, CA  94538
    510-632-1500

    7.3 Fabricated Parts:  Waste parts that have attached Beryllium metal must be sent to Alpha Machining Inc. (NJ) to have the Beryllium removed and recycled.  Once the Beryllium is removed, the remaining parts (without Beryllium) should be cleaned or washed before returning to CHESS or sent to disposal.
    7.4 Oxide or dust contaminated parts:  If suspected parts will not be decontaminated at CHESS using procedures outlined under section 8 below, then those parts must be either disposed of as in section 7.1 or sent to a facility for cleaning or recycling.  These items do not have to be pure Beryllium.  Contaminated parts should not be held in long-term storage at CHESS or any associated storage spaces.

  8. Decontamination:  Beryllium metal fragments and potentially toxic Beryllium oxide and particulate dust must be treated with extreme care.  Members of the "Beryllium Decontamination Group" are the only staff authorized to use the cleanup procedures below:
    8.1 Limited personnel exposure:  In any situation where Beryllium is not safely contained, immediately place warning signs, notify and warn staff, and contain any materials and activities so as to limit personnel exposure and minimize disturbances that could create airborne materials.  Never use compressed gas to clean work areas or beryllium containing assemblies that could be contaminated.  Never use pressurized gas to bring to atmospheric pressure a vacuum chamber contaminated from a Be accident.
    8.2 Beryllium metal fragments:  Beryllium metal is brittle and can be broken in small fragments.  Large pieces must be collected, followed by HEPA vacuuming and then wet washing and rinsing.  Water used to wash and rinse can be disposed of normally.  Used cloths and towels must be bagged and disposed of as outlined in section 7.1.
    8.3 Oxidized parts:  BD personnel may use wet cleaning methods to remove free Beryllium oxide from surfaces.  Water or solvent dampened disposable cloth or paper towels are sufficient.  Gloves and other personal protection equipment should be used as warranted.  A high efficiency particulate air filtration vacuum (HEPA vacuum) should be used to collect dust from the surrounding areas.  Used towels and HEPA filters should be sealed in plastic bags and disposed of as outlined in section 7.1.
    8.4 Dust contaminated parts:  Both wet cleaning and HEPA vacuuming techniques should be used to remove and contain dust.  Whenever possible, parts that are being cleaned should be fully enclosed in a temporary "glove-box-like" container that prevents dust release.  Alternately, a temporary shroud with local HEPA vacuum air filtering will collect dust close to the point of dust generation.  Cleaning parts in a chemical fume hood is NOT permissible unless the exhaust from the hood traverses a HEPA filter.  In all cases, the surfaces surrounding the contaminated part/area should be wiped with wet towels that are bagged and disposed of as outlined in section 7.1.
    8.5 Area testing:  All areas and parts that have been decontaminated should be tested with a laboratory wipe test kit to verify cleanliness.  It is recommended that during decontamination procedures air-sampling tests be done to determine possible exposure.
    8.6 Documentation:  Documentation of all accidents and cleanups involving Be will be posted in the CHESS Safety Log Book along with an electronic version in the Safety Web Board.

  9. Exposures and First Aid Measures:  Below are paraphrased from the MSDS No. M10 (March 23, 2001).
    9.1 Inhalation:  Breathing difficulty caused by inhalation of particulate requires immediate removal to fresh air.  If not breathing, give artificial respiration.  Get medical attention immediately.
    9.2  Ingestion:  Induce vomiting immediately as directed by medical personnel.  Never give anything by mouth to an unconscious person.
    9.3  Skin contact:  Thoroughly wash skin cuts or wounds to remove all particulate debris.  Seek medical attention for wounds that cannot be thoroughly cleansed.  Treat skin cuts and wounds with standard first aid practices such as cleansing, disinfecting and covering to prevent wound infection and contamination before continuing work.  Obtain medical help for persistent irritation.  Material accidentally implanted or lodged under the skin must be removed.
    9.4  Eye contact:  Immediately flush eyes with plenty of water for at least 15 minutes, lifting lower and upper eyelids occasionally.  Get medical attention immediately.
    9.5  Special Fire Fighting Procedures:  Pressure-demand self-contained breathing apparatus must be worn by firefighters or any other persons potentially exposed to the particulate released during or after a fire.

  10. Spills:  If the Beryllium material is released by 1) breakage into small pieces or 2) particulate release by means of mechanical disturbance (i.e. sanding, grinding, etc.) or 3) by overheating and melting,
    -immediately restrict entry
    -evacuate the area
    -notify the CHESS Operator to inform members of the CHESS Safety Committee.  CHESS Operator should rope off area and place warning signs.

    Decontamination measures by approved BD group personnel should begin as soon as possible.  From Cindy Martin's email of 11/27/01, the OSHA permissible values to not exceed are:
    a) Airborne Personal Exposure Limit (PEL) for 8hrs is 0.002 mg/m**3
    b) airborne exposure limit (STEL) for 15 minutes is 0.025 mg/m**3

    Wipe tests are made by experienced trained members of the BDG in the following manner:  Wipe tests are made by wiping an area, preferable 1 sq. ft., with a DI water soaked clean sterile pad or wipe.  Clean gloves should be worn and replace between samples to prevent cross contamination.  Each sample should be sealed in a clean bag and labeled.  The actual area wiped should be recorded so that the micro-grams per sq. ft. can be calculated for each sample.  Detailed information such as the date and time of the sample as well as location, serial numbers of equipment, etc. should be recorded.  Once the samples results come back, calculate the μg per sq. ft. of Beryllium.

    Surfaces are considered "clean" if the wipe tests come back with Beryllium quantity less than 25 micrograms/square foot.  Samples below 0.15 μg are below the lower quantifiable limit of the test and are considered non-detect are sent to:

    Galson Laboratories
    6601 Kirkville Rd.
    E. Syracuse, NY  13057
    315-432-5227
    fax: 315-437-0571

    For ICP Be analysis method reference 9100
    Air sampling, if done, are to be sent to:

    Schneider Laboratories
    2512 W. Cary Street
    Richmond, VA  23220-5117
    1-800-220-3675

    Administratively, CHESS and LEPP Safety Committee Chairmen, and the appropriate laboratory supervisors should be notified and consulted in advance of a scheduled cleanup.

  11. Phone Numbers:
    CHESS Safety Committee Chairperson:  Dana Richter, 255-7163
    Be Decontamination Leader:  Chris Conolly, 255-0913
    CHESS Management:  Ernie Fontes, 255-2959
    Cornell Environmental Health & Safety, 255-8200 - ask for Cindy Martin
    Gannett: Cornell University Health Services, 255-5155 (emergency call 911 from campus phone).

  12. Other:  Because assessments of the dangers of Beryllium particulate have changed rapidly over the past few years, this SOP outlines very conservative measures aimed at preventing any and all exposure of CHESS personnel to Beryllium oxide and Beryllium dust.  The CHESS Safety Committee could amend these procedures at any time, relaxing, expanding or refining this document as staff gains experience and test samples provide quantitative data.

  13. Document Draft Preparation:
    10/6/01 first draft: E. Fontes
    10/8/01 second draft: E. Fontes and D. Jones
    10/16/001 third draft: J. White
    11/2/01 Official copy as approved by CHESS Safety Committee on 10/30/01
    10/29/02 added safety factor requirements and pressure relief valve testing: J. White
    2/28/03 added medical screening procedures, OSHA exposure limits, how to perform a wipe test, etc.: D. Bilderback
    4/9/04 updated document to include chambers that are pressurized with a non-compressible non-reactive liquid, long-term medical monitoring requirements, and contact information regarding testing laboratories: J. White
    10/1/04 updated document to include more detail on Chris Conolly's recommendations from 6/3/03 memo: J. White
    10/18004 updated document to include PAPR usage and maintenance: J. White
    10/27/04 updated information regarding Al coated windows, design tolerance definition, and corrected PEL level: J. White
    03/09/2011 updated handling beryllium and water: C. Conolly
    10/25/2012 added Beryllium Copper, updated contact info, changed company name, changed isopropyl alcohol for wipe test to DI water: C. Conolly & D. Jones

Prepared by:  David J. Jones
Date:  9 July, 2001

 

 

 

 

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