Brush Wellman
News Background

Beryllium is a hard, lightweight metal used in military hardware, cars and trucks, dental work, electronics, computers and cell phones. Brush Wellman, Inc., headquartered in Cleveland, is by far the world's largest manufacturer of beryllium products. The company's largest production plant is located in Elmore, Ohio near Toledo.

Working with beryllium creates toxic dust and fumes. People exposed to beryllium dust or fumes can develop chronic beryllium disease or lung cancer. Beryllium disease is too often fatal and there is no cure. In 1997, a government study found that one-tenth of the workers at Brush's Elmore plant either has beryllium disease or is beryllium-sensitized, indicating they are in danger of developing the disease.

You don't have to be a beryllium worker to get beryllium disease. Some contract workers at beryllium plants, dental lab technicians, automotive manufacture workers, spouses of beryllium workers, and neighbor of beryllium plants have developed beryllium disease.

There is no known safe level of beryllium exposure. Fortunately, beryllium disease is preventable. Eliminating beryllium exposure eliminates the disease.

Resources News from 2001
News from 1999 and 2000
Apr 14: Did CDC Cave To Pressure Over Toxic Dust?
Documents Obtained Exclusively By CBS News Raise Questions About Public Health Study

ELMORE -- "'It's worrisome; it's very worrisome.' Bernadette Eriksen lives in Elmore, Ohio, where the material engineering company Brush Wellman operates the world's largest manufacturing plant for beryllium, a metal used to make parts found in nuclear weapons, golf clubs and computer chips. During manufacturing it produces a toxic dust. Exposure can cause an incurable, often-fatal lung disease and possibly cancer, Keteyian reports. In 2001, in response to community concerns, the CDC began looking at whether beryllium dust from the plant was a health hazard. By 2005, CDC scientists pledged a thorough investigation - with blood tests for up to 200 residents and household dust readings," CBS News. Published April 10.
Mar 28, 2007: PROGRESS 2007: Bright days ahead for Brush Wellman

ELMORE -- "Employees at Brush Wellman are really excited about the future of their company. In 2005, Brush Wellman was awarded a $9 million contract from the Department of Defense to engineer and design a new production facility... If the plant has had any downfalls, especially as of late, it would have to be with the Ohio EPA. The plant, which is mostly a mining and refining facility, was disciplined by the EPA in 2003 and 2004 for failing to report on equipment and air emissions," Chauncey Alcorn, Sandusky Register.
Jan 5, 2007: Gas crews hit beryllium near former Brush site

LORAIN -- "Crews working on a gas line near West First Street and Hamilton Avenue yesterday afternoon disturbed beryllium that had been buried at the site of the former Brush plant since the 1940s, according to city officials. Lorain Fire Department Chief Tom Brown said workers from Columbia Gas noticed some discolored material and were concerned it could be beryllium," Megan King, Lorain Morning Journal.

Nov 16, 2006:  Feds detect no signs of sensitivity to beryllium
18 residents tested from Elmore area

ELMORE -- "Brush Wellman Inc. said yesterday it was pleased that a federal health agency found no indication of blood sensitization to beryllium during a recent round of testing. Samples were drawn in the summer from 18 Elmore-area residents who voluntarily agreed to have their blood analyzed by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, a sister agency of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention," Toledo Blade.

Jul 20, 2006:  Ohio justices reverse workers' comp ruling
Hurt employees who return can't seek higher benefit



COLUMBUS -- "In an extremely rare move, the Ohio Supreme Court yesterday reversed itself, undoing the impact of two prior rulings allowing employees who work for years while fighting debilitating injuries to receive greater benefits... The decision overturns the effect of the 1998 ruling that allowed former Brush Wellman employee Galin 'Butch' Lemke, a leading activist for victims of beryllium disease, to collect benefits from the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation based on the higher salary he was earning immediately before he became disabled. That was two decades after he left Brush," Jim Provance, Toledo Blade.

Aug 31, 2005:  No cleanup planned for former beryllium plant

BOWLING GREEN -- "Remediation plans for a former beryllium production plant near Luckey do not call for cleaning up or removing the buildings on the site, but the Army Corps of Engineers now says it will test the soil beneath the buildings and 'determine if further action is needed...' The Corps said it found small amounts of beryllium in some of the buildings, but found no evidence of a release or threat of a release into the environment. 'The Corps of Engineers will evaluate the sample results to determine if further action is necessary,' the agency said in its written response to Mr. Espen's query. Larry Chako, environmental director for Brush Wellman's Elmore plant, attended the meeting in support of concerned community members. He said Brush Wellman favors a total site cleanup at Luckey. 'We feel that is the right thing to do and the prudent thing to do,' he told the group," Jennifer Feehan, Toledo Blade.

Feb 12, 2005:  OSHA taken to task on beryllium

Ron Hayes
CHICAGO, IL -- "'The very agency charged with safeguarding health and safety in the workplace is failing to protect its own workers,' Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.) wrote this week to Labor Secretary Elaine Chao, whose department oversees OSHA. Miller wants OSHA to detail the safety steps it is taking. His letter to Chao also was signed by Rep. Major Owens (D-N.Y.), and the watchdog groups Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility and the FIGHT Project sent similar letters. The Tribune reported last month that at least three OSHA employees developed blood abnormalities after conducting inspections in facilities handling beryllium, a lightweight metal whose dust can cause an often-fatal lung disease. . .'OSHA inspectors only spend a small time in these facilities,' founder Ron Hayes wrote to Chao. 'I'm worried about the workers,' who spend much more time in the facilities. FIGHT stands for Families in Grief Holding Together," Sam Roe, Chicago Tribune.
Jan 24, 2005:  When death was in the air

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA -- "The Daily Telegraph revealed yesterday how 3000 servicemen and women came into contact with beryllium dust, which can cause fatal lung disease, between the 1950s and 1985. Despite the health dangers being suspected as early as the 1950s, sailors on HMAS Supply and HMAS Melbourne were exposed until 1985. Beryllium was contained in tools called jason pistols which were used to strip paint and clean the ships' hulls. The navy and the Department of Defence have begun an inquiry. Beryllium dust, a heavy metal, scars the lungs causing shortness of breath and kills 2 to 6 per cent of those exposed," Vanessa McCausland, Sydney Daily Telegraph.
Jan 21, 2005:  OSHA workers tainted by beryllium exposure
Agency criticized for downplaying metal's hazards

WASHINGTON D.C. -- "The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, long criticized for downplaying the dangers of beryllium, has discovered that several of its employees have been affected by exposure to the deadly metal. The Tribune has learned that ongoing medical testing shows that at least three OSHA workers have developed blood abnormalities linked to beryllium exposure--the first such cases at the agency. The workers are thought to have been exposed while conducting safety inspections in industries using beryllium, a lightweight metal whose dust can cause an often-fatal lung disease. The private beryllium industry and some U.S. military facilities have been testing their workers since the 1990s, often discovering cases of beryllium disease where there was thought to be none," Sam Roe, Chicago Tribune.
Jan 12, 2005:  Beryllium firm to pay $276,289 in penalties

Brush cited for lapses on emissions reports

ELMORE -- "The violations, which occurred between 1980 and 2004, included failing to monitor or record information related to more than 15 pieces of emission-control equipment and the loss of data logs for one device between Nov. 15, 2000, and Jan. 17, 2001, [Dina Pierce, an Ohio EPA spokesperson] said. Brush Wellman also failed to properly monitor emissions of carbon monoxide for an arc furnace and emissions of nitrogen oxide for a copper-beryllium coil strip pickling line, according to EPA. Ms. Pierce said the company did not disclose in its original permit application for the furnace, issued in 1980, that it anticipated releasing more than 250 tons of carbon monoxide per year," Toledo Blade.
Nov 18, 2004:  Court rules for Brush in lawsuit by employees

Ohio justices vote 5-2 to deny class action

COLUMBUS -- "In a victory for Brush Wellman, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled yesterday that up to 7,000 contract workers who may have been exposed to unsafe levels of toxic beryllium dust at the company's plant near Elmore cannot file a class-action lawsuit against the firm. The workers' lawsuit cannot be certified as a class action because the proposed members are not "cohesive," Republican Justice Maureen O'Connor wrote for the 5-2 majority. The ruling overturned a lower-court decision," James Drew, Toledo Blade.
Mar 1, 2004: Is a highly toxic chemical in your mouth?
Opinions vary on potential dental danger


Dental lab technicianCINCINNATI -- "'We would like to see no dental lab using beryllium in dental products,' Ohio Citizen Action spokeswoman Sandy Buchanan said. 'It's not necessary. The risks are high to dental technicians who have to grind up the mineral. There are safer substitutes available.' Ohio Citizen Action claims there's no reason dental labs should use beryllium. Girone contacted 10 Tri-State labs that said they don't use beryllium products. But that doesn't mean your dentist doesn't. Products can be purchased on the Internet, and suppliers send from all over. 'I believe, for most of them, it's a cost factor,' Buchanan said. 'It's cheaper than precious metals they might use in their dental supplies,'" Cincinnati TV 5 News.
Feb 7, 2004: Uranium workers want more testing, precautions after toxic metal found

BerylliumWASHINGTON, DC -- "A uranium plant worker from southern Ohio who has deadly beryllium disease says employees have suspected for years that they were being exposed to the toxic metal. The U.S. Energy Department had not thought the metal was present at the Piketon, Ohio, plant, believing it was only found in areas of a sister plant in Paducah, Ky., where old weapons work had been performed. Agency officials said this week that aluminum blades used to produce enriched uranium at Piketon contained beryllium," Malia Rulon, Associated Press.
Jul 14, 2003:  U.S. plans beryllium sampling in Elmore
Agency will outline testing procedures


ELMORE -- "The sampling in Elmore, a village of 1,426 people about 18 miles southeast of Toledo, could begin later this year, once a public comment period is completed Aug. 15. Consent of homeowners will be required for voluntary participation. Crews of two to three people will visit homes, spending about two hours interviewing the residents and taking samples to test for beryllium dust. The project is expected to take several weeks, [Peter Kowalski, an environmental health specialist at the U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry] said. 'We can collect samples in every home because of the logistics,' Mr. Kowalski said, adding that the agency wants to sample most homes adjacent to the plant. . . .Reports to homeowners with individual results and to the community at large won’t go out until three to six months after the sampling is completed," Len Boselovic, Toledo Blade.

ELMORE -- Beryllium tests due in Elmore; meeting tonight, Rick Neale, Port Clinton News Herald.
Jul 3, 2003:  Brush Wellman slashes beryllium air emissions by 96% at Elmore plant

Beryllium air releases chart

Beryllium air emissions, from Brush Wellman's Elmore plant, in pounds.

ELMORE -- "Brush Wellman has slashed by 96% the beryllium air pollution coming from their Elmore, Ohio plant, according to company reports to the U.S. EPA. Brush Wellman is the world's predominant beryllium processor. In 2002, the Elmore plant put 38 pounds of beryllium into the air, down from 889 pounds in 1994. This stunning improvement, which began in 2000, goes well beyond the weak requirements of federal and state regulations," Amy Ryder, Ohio Citizen Action.
Feb 7, 2003: Former beryllium worker’s suit ended
Ex-Brush employee accepts settlement


ELMORE -- "The Ohio Supreme Court yesterday dismissed a case filed by a former Brush Wellman employee and an outspoken critic who accused the company of knowingly giving him an incurable disease. Gary Renwand, Jr., asked that his case be dismissed because he accepted a settlement from the company. Mr. Renwand said he was forced to dismiss the suit because workers cannot receive a compensation package offered by the federal government if they sue the company. "You can’t fight the federal government. And fighting Brush Wellman is like fighting the federal government. The way things are going, it was clear we weren’t going to win," said Mr. Renwand, whose father also has beryllium disease. "I wasn’t in it just for the money. Brush is in the wrong,"" Kelly Lecker, The Toledo Blade.

Dec 20, 2002: Beryllium victims sick at heart
Courts have sided with Brush Wellman in worker lawsuits


ELMORE -- Gary Renwand, Jr., watches his father steal breaths from a portable oxygen machine he takes everywhere he goes. He sees him go in and out of the hospital, battling heart and lung problems stemming from a disease he got from 35 years of working around beryllium dust at Brush Wellman’s plant in Elmore. Mr. Renwand wants Brush Wellman to pay for putting him and others at risk for developing a potentially deadly disease, and for the fear he faces now. He maintained that the company not only knew about the risks, but ignored them while putting production ahead of safety," Kelly Lecker, The Toledo Blade.

Nov 8, 2002: Court backs Brush in suit over beryllium at Ohio plant

CLEVELAND -- "An Ohio appeals court has ruled that Brush Engineered Materials Inc. did not disregard worker safety at a beryllium processing plant. The Cleveland company said the victory may help it settle remaining Ohio lawsuits claiming it had hidden from workers the dangers of working with beryllium. This year, after winning a series of court cases, Brush settled with 87 plaintiffs who had filed lawsuits related to the health effects of beryllium. It still faces 49 cases, 27 of them in its home state," Thomas W. Gerdel, Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Sep 30, 2002: Ex-Brush worker loses wage case

CLEVELAND -- "A judge ruled against a former Brush Wellman employee who said the company agreed to continue paying him after he contracted beryllium disease, then cut off his salary. The Cuyahoga County Common Pleas judge granted summary judgment Wednesday in favor of Brush Wellman and against David Norgard of Manitou Beach, Mich. The court ruled that under the contract, Mr. Norgard, who worked at Brush’s Elmore plant, was to be paid if he was unable to work or if the company could not provide him with a job. 'The judge ruled he had to work unless he was totally disabled,' said Louise Roselle, an attorney for Mr. Norgard," Kelly Lecker, Toledo Blade.

Sep 30, 2002: Broken pact is focus of Brush Wellman trial

CLEVELAND -- "The breach-of-contract trial between the company and David Norgard of Manitou Beach, Mich., is expected to last less than a week in Cuyahoga Common Pleas Court. At issue is a contract Mr. Norgard says he signed with Brush Wellman that called for the company to continue paying him a salary after he contracted beryllium disease in 1992. 'In 1992, when he was diagnosed with chronic beryllium disease, they told him, 'Go home and get on with your life, and we will continue to pay you,'' and then cut him off, said Louise Roselle, a Cincinnati attorney representing Mr. Norgard," Kelly Lecker, Toledo Blade.

Sep 23, 2002: Citizens coalition switches gears -- praises Brush Wellman

ELMORE -- "A statewide grassroots group known for its scathing attacks on Brush Wellman for its safety practices has deemed the local plant 'much safer' for employees and neighbors than in 1999. Ohio Citizen Action member Amy Ryder sent a letter to Brush Chairman Gordon Harnett praising the company. 'We are satisfied that your company has taken significant steps at the facility to make it much safer for employees and neighbors,' she wrote in the letter, which was sent Monday," Jennifer Funk, Port Clinton News Herald.

Sep 22, 2002: Insurance for the chronic beryllium disease victims and uranium workers cancer victims

FREMONT -- "I feel that our Congress should amend the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act to include life and health insurance for people who have chronic beryllium disease and the cancer victims of the uranium workers along with their spouses and, if any, dependent children. After all, if the spouse is staying home to take care of their sick, then they deserve it too. Please keep in mind that if you work with beryllium or uranium or know of someone who does, there is no way of knowing what the beryllium workers or the uranium workers fate may be five, ten, or even thirty years from now," Michael Bauer.

Sep 17, 2002:
Brush Wellman now "much safer" for employees and neighbors

CLEVELAND -- "Ohio Citizen Action said today the Brush Wellman beryllium plant in Elmore, Ohio, is "much safer" for employees and neighbors than in 1999. In a letter to Brush Chairman Gordon Harnett, Ohio Citizen Action’s Amy Ryder said the group had successfully completed the good-neighbor campaign it began three years ago. 'Since disease and death still haunt this community, it would be unseemly to use the word 'victory,' Ryder said. 'Brush Wellman’s recent improvements, however, go significantly beyond what the weak federal and state regulatory system require. Elmore is now a much safer place.' In the letter, Ryder cited the closing of the pure beryllium unit at the plant, which has reduced total beryllium air emissions by 77%. The company also created transition zones within the plant to prevent cross-contamination of beryllium within the different parts of the facility. All production employees are now required to wear respirators and go through decontamination at the end of a shift, including the use of air showers and separate locker rooms for storing work and street clothing," release, Ohio Citizen Action.
Letter to Gordon Harnett
Key events in the Brush Wellman good-neighbor campaign
A photo review of the campaign

Aug 29, 2002: County continues Brush Wellman tax abatement
Retaining business


PORT CLINTON -- "Though the number of Brush Wellman's full-time workers are down, there were still enough to retain a tax abatement for another year on $100 million in real and personal property. . . At its peak in 2001, Brush Wellman had 838 full-time employees. By mid-2002, however, that number had dropped to 578. . .Brush officials have said in the past the reason for the economic decline was the demise of the telecommunications industry. The company used to rely heavily on military contracts, but now that only makes up about 5 percent of the Elmore plant's production. Instead, it is focused on products for the automotive and telecommunications industries -- which up until last year were seeing an economic boom. Now, though, the Elmore plant is producing about 40 percent of what it's actually capable of, and cutting costs to stay stable," Jennifer Funk, Port Clinton News Herald.

Aug 8, 2002: Administration stops fighting claims of illness by nuclear weapons workers

WASHINGTON, DC -- "Under pressure from Congress, the Bush administration has decided to reverse policy and quit fighting illness compensation claims from Cold War-era nuclear weapons workers exposed to toxic chemicals. The new rules reverse a decades-old policy and differ from a draft proposal circulated earlier this year that allowed contractors to contest such findings and even said the Energy Department would help pay for appeals. The regulations could affect more than 12,000 workers currently seeking help from the Energy Department in getting compensation. Most of the affected workers live in states with large DOE facilities, including Ohio," Nancy Zuckerbrod, Associated Press.

Aug 8, 2002: Brush workers’ homes to be tested
Feds ask if beryllium escapes from factory


ELMORE -- "A federal public health agency plans to test the homes of beryllium workers to see if beryllium is leaving the Brush Wellman plant. The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry told residents at meetings yesterday that air emissions from the Brush Wellman plant are not posing a health hazard for neighbors. But the toxic substances agency could not determine whether beryllium is getting into workers’ homes from their clothes or bodies. The agency is developing tests to look for beryllium in homes. Bernadette Eriksen, who lives near the plant, asked the agency to do its own testing and not rely on data from Brush Wellman and the EPA," Kelly Lecker, Toledo Blade.

Aug 2, 2002: Study: Beryllium dust not hazard
Brush Wellman’s neighbors are worried


ELMORE -- "Bernadette Eriksen, who lives near the plant, said she’s angry the agency didn’t test people near the plant or do their own air sampling. 'I never saw them out here testing any air. I never heard anyone questioning the neighbors. I just think based on the evidence I saw it’s being brushed under the rug again,' she said. The public health agency, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, will have two public hearings Wednesday to release the results of the study to residents. The meetings will be from 2 to 4 and from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Elmore Community Center, 410 Clinton St.," Kelly Lecker, Toledo Blade.

Jul 27, 2002: Brush Wellman feels brunt of telecommunication industry decline

ELMORE -- "The decline of the telecommunications industry has pulled Brush Wellman down with it -- and company officials for the Elmore plant are mum about the future. The corporation, however, received somewhat good news with the second-quarter earnings report, released Thursday by parent company Brush Engineering Materials Inc. That report showed while the Cleveland-based corporation was about 22 percent off its sales in the second quarter compared to the same time last year, numbers did improve from the first quarter 2002. That's somewhat encouraging, especially considering numbers have steadily climbed since a woeful fourth quarter to end 2001," Jennifer Funk, Port Clinton News Herald.

Jul 25, 2002: Brush Engineered 2nd-quarter loss widens

CLEVELAND -- "Chemical company Brush Engineered Materials Inc. on Thursday posted a second-quarter loss, reversing a profit a year earlier, as telecommunications market weakness cut into demand for its beryllium products. The Cleveland-based company reported a loss of $2.0 million, or 12 cents a share, compared with earnings of $1.3 million, or 8 cents a share, a year ago. Brush, the producer of beryllium products used in the computer and electronics industries, said its sales declined 22 percent to $100.7 million from $128.5 million a year earlier. The company said its third-quarter sales could dip by as much as 5 percent from the second-quarter due to slow demand from technology and telecommunications customers. Shares were down about 2 percent, or 21 cents, to $9.64 in Thursday afternoon trade in New York Stock Exchange. Stock have shed about 72 percent from a year earlier," Reuters.
Statement by Brush Wellman.
Brush Wellman conference call on 2d quarter earnings

May 25, 2002: Brush-Wellman researchers honored

ELMORE -- "The paper, titled, 'Ultrafine Beryllium Number Concentration as a Possible Metric for Chronic Beryllium Disease Risk' was published in the May 2001 edition of Applied Occupational and Environmental Hygiene. The paper summarizes a study by Brush Wellman and NIOSH to identify an appropriate measure of assessing potential risk of work-related CBD," Port Clinton News Herald.
May 21, 2002: Brush Engineered Materials Inc. announces organization change

CLEVELAND -- "At its meeting on May 7, the Brush Engineered Materials Inc. Board of Directors (NYSE:BW - News) requested and received from Gordon Harnett, Chairman and CEO, a commitment to delay any potential early retirement for a duration of several years. . . . [Company president William] Seelbach originally came to the organization as a potential successor to Mr. Harnett, and given Mr. Harnett's commitment to the Board, he has decided that the delayed opportunity is inconsistent with his personal objectives. As a result, he has decided to leave the organization," release, Brush Wellman.
May 9, 2002: Beryllium victim wins court ruling
Decision reviving Brush suit could aid other Ohio workers


COLUMBUS -- "The Supreme Court overturned a state appeals court ruling that said the statute of limitations had run out in 1997 when David Norgard and his wife, Theresa, filed an intentional tort lawsuit against Brush, a Cleveland-based firm. . . A one-vote majority of the state Supreme Court agreed with Mr. Norgard. 'By applying the ... rule as we do, we take away the advantage of employers who conceal harmful information until it is too late for their employees to use it,' wrote Justice Francis Sweeney, a Democrat. . . .'Hopefully, the decision has set a precedent and opened up some doors for a lot of injured workers across the state,' Mr. Norgard said yesterday. 'That is even more exciting than my own case,'" James Drew, Toledo Blade.
Apr 23, 2002: Dental labs get beryllium alert
OSHA warns that toxic metal poses threat to workers


WASHINGTON, DC -- "In a rare move, federal regulators are warning thousands of dental laboratories that they might be exposing workers to harmful levels of beryllium, a highly toxic metal used in the production of crowns and bridges. The warning, to be issued Tuesday in the form of a health hazard bulletin, states that several dental lab technicians have contracted a potentially fatal lung disease after inhaling tiny amounts of beryllium dust. . . OSHA's hazard bulletin recommends that dental labs use ventilation, respirators and protective clothing to limit beryllium dust exposure. Employers should also regularly test the air and, where possible, use substitutes for beryllium," Sam Roe, Chicago Tribune.

WASHINGTON, DC --"Hazard Information Bulletin: Preventing adverse health effects from exposure to beryllium in dental laboratories," release, full text, U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Adminstration.

The Chicago Tribune articles on beryllium in dentistry, attributed to Sam Roe, are based on original research by Amy Ryder, Ohio Citizen Action. The Toledo Blade series on beryllium (March 3 - April 2, 1999), bylined by Sam Roe, was based on original research by Theresa Norgard, University of Michigan.
Apr 15, 2002: No injuries in explosion at Brush Wellman

ELMORE -- "The explosion occurred about 12:30 a.m. Sunday in the old cast shop, which is in the Northwest quadrant of the plant, said plant manager Art Pepper this morning. There were four people working in the cast shop at the time, he said. They reported that while pouring molten metal, which contained a copper beryllium alloy, the machinery malfunctioned and continued to pour when it should have stopped, Pepper said. The metal came into contact with water, which caused steam and the explosion, he said," Port Clinton News Herald.
Mar 19, 2002: Beryllium tests urged for military workers

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- "The lawmakers assailed the Pentagon for ignoring federal health guidelines that recommend blood tests for workers exposed to beryllium, a lightweight metal whose dust can cause an often fatal lung disease. Testing in other industries has revealed dozens of illnesses. 'This is a national disgrace the way the Department of Defense has treated these workers,' said Rep. Tom Udall, a Democrat from New Mexico . . . Five congressmen contacted by the Tribune said they wanted the Defense Department to take action. They are Udall and Reps. Charlie Gonzalez (D-Texas), Paul Kanjorski (D-Penn.), Ted Strickland (D-Ohio) and Ciro Rodriguez (D-Texas)," Sam Roe, Chicago Tribune.
Mar 14, 2002: New leaders for Citizen Action in Toledo and northwest Ohio

TOLEDO -- "Sandy Buchanan, executive director of Ohio Citizen Action, has hired two new leaders for the group's Toledo office, which serves all of northwest Ohio. They are Beatrice Miringu, program director, and Matt Stutler, canvass director. Buchanan said: 'These two talented leaders will spearhead our campaign to prevent toxic pollution in Northwest Ohio, particularly at the Brush Wellman beryllium plant in Elmore,'" Ohio Citizen Action.
Mar 3, 2002: Military exposed to toxic metal
Defense agency fails to screen for beryllium disease


WASHINGTON, DC -- "U.S. military personnel have been exposed to the highly toxic metal beryllium at dozens of Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps facilities, with some levels exceeding legal safety limits, a Tribune investigation has found. . . . Early detection is important because it allows treatments that can attempt to limit lung damage," Sam Roe, Chicago Tribune.
Feb 5, 2002: Time limit or fairness?

TOLEDO -- "In this instance, employee David Norgard, 46, diagnosed in 1992 with chronic beryllium disease, didn’t find out until 1995 that Brush Wellman hadn’t told him and other workers all it could have about the causes of beryllium disease and the levels of exposure to it that were safe. He filed his lawsuit within two years of finding out, but a trial court and a court of appeals panel ruled that, as Brush Wellman had argued, he should have filed his suit in 1994, two years after he was diagnosed but well before he knew the extent of the company’s perfidy," editorial, Toledo Blade.
Jan 31, 2002: Beryllium trial cites words of worker

COLUMBUS -- "Yesterday, [former Brush worker Dave] Norgard’s attorneys told the justices that the appeals court misinterpreted state law and that the two-year statute of limitations started to tick in 1995, when Mr. Norgard discovered 'facts' from an Arizona attorney supporting allegations that Brush intentionally withheld information about the causes of chronic beryllium disease. 'He had no reason to know that his employer had intentionally caused his illness until 1995,' Mr. DeMarco told the seven-member court, which asked both sides several questions about previous decisions on intentional tort disputes.," James Drew, Toledo Blade.
Jan 30, 2002: Brush worker asks relief from time limit
Ohio top court gets plea to let beryllium suit continue


COLUMBUS -- "'Brush was not receptive nor supportive of the research that the support group was performing,' recalled [Dave] Norgard, in a 2000 affidavit. 'Several times I was told by Brush to stop snooping around and stop talking to regulatory agencies and members of Congress.' . . . It was from [attorney James] Heckbert that Mr. Norgard learned that 'for decades Brush Wellman withheld from its employees information about the causes of beryllium-related diseases and the acceptable levels of beryllium to which an employee could be exposed without harm,' according to state court records filed by Mr. Norgard’s attorneys," James Drew, Toledo Blade.

PORT CLINTON -- "Community alert system in place," Port Clinton News-Herald.
Jan 26, 2002: Brush Wellman names new site leader
Company hopes to improve communications with community


ELMORE -- "As site leader, [Arthur] Pepper has responsibility for the plant's health and safety, quality, accounting, information systems, human resources, engineering, and internal and external communications, including community relations. 'We're excited to introduce Art to the local community, and we look forward to him getting out and meeting our neighbors throughout the area,' [Donald Klimkowicz, vice president, operations] said. 'Our company is committed to enhancing its communications with the community, and Art will take a leadership role in that effort,'" Port Clinton News Herald.
Jan 25, 2002: Elmore area residents discuss how to stop beryllium disease
January 15 community meeting minutes are now on line


GENOA -- "Dr. Kathy Fagan described what can be done to prevent Chronic Beryllium Disease. She said, 'CBD can only occur if someone is exposed to beryllium by breathing the dust or fumes into the lungs. Thus, preventing the release of beryllium dust or fumes is the best way to prevent the disease. Companies must control, enclose and ventilate their operations. Workers must use protective equipment and respirators. Communities must make sure that beryllium dust and fumes from factories are not being released into the community,'" Amy Ryder, Margaret Priebe, Ohio Citizen Action, 23KB .doc.
Jan 23, 2002: Union is leery of beryllium plant uniform contract

ELMORE -- "Beryllium dust can cause an incurable, fatal lung disease if inhaled. Brush Wellman processes beryllium, long used in nuclear weapons. Some workers said they are worried that beryllium dust would leave the dryers through the vents and expose workers, and that workers who touch the clothes might be exposed to beryllium. [Karen Burnett, an international representative for the UNITE union] said she isn’t sure if union members would refuse to wash the uniforms. 'Those are issues we feel we need to get addressed,' she said. . . . Amy Ryder, director of the Cleveland office of Ohio’s largest environmental group, Ohio Citizen Action, said there is reason to be concerned. She said her agency studied the homes and cars of beryllium workers and found that beryllium is carried off site, so it is logical to assume there will be beryllium on the uniforms that could be left in washers and dryers," Kelly Lecker, Toledo Blade.
Jan 17, 2002: New lab unveiled at Oak Ridge $850,000 facility will test for beryllium disease

OAK RIDGE -- "The new test lab will receive blood samples from Y-12 and workers at more than a dozen other DOE facilities around the United States. Dr. Donna Cragle, epidemiology chief at the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education and one of the nation's top experts in beryllium screening, said the Oak Ridge facilities are capable of processing more than 3,000 cases per year," Frank Munger, Knoxville News Sentinel.
Jan 17, 2002: Brush Wellman criticizes agency's role

GENOA -- "The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry's participation in an activist meeting on beryllium Tuesday 'smacks of collusion,' said a Brush Wellman spokesman Wednesday. . . . In October, ATSDR representatives announced at an Elmore meeting they would conduct a follow-up exposure investigation, talking to volunteers in 30 local households. Because of low participation at the October meeting, ATSDR representative Loretta Bush returned to Tuesday night's meeting in Genoa sponsored by Ohio Citizen Action to ask for more volunteers," Port Clinton News Herald.
Jan 16, 2002: Big crowd hears Brush Wellman safety concerns

GENOA -- "A standing room only crowd Tuesday night weighed in on what they thought needed to be done to protect the safety of workers and residents near the Elmore Brush Wellman plant. . . .Dr. Kathleen Fagan, an expert on work-related toxic exposure out of Lorain, was at the meeting to speak about the symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of CBD and take related questions. Fagan also is on the board of directors for Ohio Citizen Action and is a professor at Case Western Reserve. 'We don't know how to cure it, so the most important thing is to try to prevent it,' she told the audience of about 50," Jennifer Funk, Port Clinton News Herald.
10 more photos by Nate Steffans.
Jan 14, 2002: Doctor to address danger of beryllium

GENOA -- "A citizens action group is sponsoring a meeting Tuesday night to educate residents about the potential dangers of living near Brush Wellman, a beryllium-processing plant. Ohio Citizens Action will have the meeting at 6:30 p.m. at the Genoa Public Library, 602 West St. . . . The lead presenter is Dr. Kathleen Fagan, an occupational medicine specialist, whose training involves toxic exposures," Port Clinton News Herald and Fremont News Messenger.
Full Ohio Citizen Action meeting notice.
Jan 11, 2002: Community meeting on beryllium disease set for Jan 15
with Dr. Kathleen Fagan, occupational health specialist and expert on beryllium and toxic exposures


GENOA -- "Dr. Kathleen Fagan will join us to discuss the dangers of living near a beryllium plant and beryllium disease. Dr. Fagan is a occupational medicine specialist, trained in work related toxic exposures and recognized by National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health as a beryllium expert. This meeting is open to the public," Amy Ryder, Ohio Citizen Action.