Beryllium is an extremely toxic metal and if bare to it, at or above the threshold values, it can lead to a chronic beryllium disease or an acute beryllium disease. Toxic contact to beryllium is most often thru an inhalation pathway. Beryllium has an assortment of effects. Some beryllium combines with a protein and is deposited in the liver, spleen and kidneys, but the beryllium when bound with a biological protein, can result in the chronic form of the disease which is supposed to be a late reaction immune response. The major toxicological effects of beryllium are on the respiratory tract, purposely the lungs and their alveoli.

Beryllium and its sole characteristic led to it being used widely in a variety of industries prior to his know toxic effects. Today it is know that beryllium is a highly toxic material which results in irresistible toxic effects on the lungs. There has been a radical increase in the rule in beryllium use so as to protect those that directly handle and work with the metal. With these system, beryllium is fairly safe to work with and use in a variety of products and industries. In the following text, there will be an account of beryllium puzzling history and toxic effects on the respiratory system of man.

Beryllium has the symbol Be. In the older chemical literature, beryllium is called glucinium after the Greek word glykys meaning sweet, because of Vauquelin's initial account and surveillance of Beryllium. Beryllium's atomic number is 4, its atomic weight is 9.01 and in its pure metal form it melts at 1278 degrees Celsius.


Following Cooper's patent of the beryllium alloy, Charles II in 1921, was conspiracy by beryllium's light weight, extreme stiffness, high heat absorption and interesting nuclear cross section. Charles II was looking at beryllium and its unique characteristics to try and see if there was any possible for it to be used in any manufacturing practices. It turned out that Charles II was on to something.

Several property accounts for beryllium metal's substantial value in modern industry. It has a very high stiffness to weight ratio and low density and it has the strength of steel without steel's weight. It also has a low coefficient of thermal expansion, has an oddly high melting point and has good thermal and electrical conductive properties. Also, alloys containing beryllium are corrosive resistant and small amounts of beryllium in an alloy give this alloy a higher resistance to metal fatigue. These properties make the beryllium metal very useful in the aerospace, nuclear power, and electronics industries, along with the automobile and computers industries.

The Beryllium Corporation of America, founded by Lester Hofheimer in 1927, was the first commercially producing mining company of beryllium-containing materials. Andre w Gahagan, decided to get into the beryllium industry in 1929 and formed the Beryllium Development Corporation, and later, gained control of the Beryllium Corporation of America and distorted its name to the beryllium corporation in the year 1932. The patents and founding of several beryllium corporations sky-rocket between the years 1921, when Brush Laboratories was started to 1932 when Andre w Gahagan was trying to start a small monopoly.

Initially, in the 1930s, small amounts of Be-cooper alloys, Be-oxide compounds a d tinny beryllium were made but their growth in production was enthused on the whole, through the increased demand of beryllium-cooper products used in World War II. Along with the greater than before demand of World War II, a third US producer of beryllium connected products, artificial beryllium oxide mainly for their use in the bright lamp industry. Beryllium was preliminary to truly expand in its application from tinny alloys to their use in fluorescent lights.

During and right away following the second world war, a lot of research was being done in the area of nuclear fission and beryllium physical and chemical individuality, lead to beryllium being of great notice to the nuclear scientists. This work, as well as all the previous work in the metallic alloys and fluorescent light industry, was done prior to any valid knowledge of the potential hazards of beryllium. Therefore, all this work was done without the use of any protection or precautions, which came back to do some serious damage to those who worked with beryllium in a straight line and the industry.


As early as the 1930s, the period when beryllium foodstuffs were being made in a high amount, there were reports of a beryllium related disease this appeared in the European medical text. These claims/reports went on the whole unnoticed or disregarded in the United States allegedly because the findings failed to show a clear and direct relationship of beryllium causing the illness. This may be the sole reason but bearing in mind that the United States was heavily dependent on these beryllium foodstuffs in their military labors of World War II, as well as being heavily invested in the beryllium alloys, there may have been other heavily weighing factors which the administration did not want to explain so they choose to just say that the European literature was methodically unsound.