Although the incidence of chronic beryllium disease (CBD) is decreasing, new immunological tests, particularly the beryllium lymphocyte proliferation test (BeLPT), are detecting emerging cases of subclinical disease and beryllium sensitization, according to a new report from the U.K. Health and Safety Executive (HSE). The news was recently posted on the American Industrial Hygiene Association’s website.

The report recommends the use of BeLPT as one aspect of an occupational health program to identify early beryllium sensitization as a marker of those at risk of progressing to CBD. If the intent of the program is to identify CBD alone, a standard approach of a symptom questionnaire, chest X-ray and lung function testing can be used.

The report notes that BeLPT is currently performed at only one location in the U.K. and at only four locations in the U.S.

More information on beryllium is available from the OSHA  and NIOSH websites.