ELMORE -- Tonight, those who live and work near the Brush Wellman
plant can hear details on a federal beryllium dust-sampling effort
in the surrounding area.
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry has studied
health risks related to the facility since 2001, when U.S. Sen. Mike
DeWine called for an investigation. Beryllium dust has been linked
to chronic berylliosis, a fatal lung disease.
ATSDR will outline its dust exposure investigation and answer
questions from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. today at Elmore Community Center,
410 Clinton St.
The agency, which is part of the U.S. Department of Health and
Human Services, is trying to determine whether
higher-than-background beryllium exposures are taking place in the
Brush Wellman neighborhood in Harris Township. Homes and vehicles
will be checked out, based on the findings of a health consultation
conducted last year.
That report concluded that beryllium levels in the air and water
do not present a public health problem for Elmore residents.
Released in August, that study's findings were based on 30-day
averages of air emissions taken inside and outside the plant, along
with residential well water samplings.
The report was inconclusive as to whether Brush Wellman workers
carry home beryllium dust on their clothing.
Brush Wellman molds beryllium and other metals to create products
for the defense, electronics, telecommunications and automotive
The agency's draft plan is available at Harris-Elmore Public
Library, 238 Toledo St.
A public comment period on the ATSDR initiative will extend
through Aug. 15. To submit comments, write to Chief, Program
Evaluation, Records and Information Services Branch, ATSDR, 1600
Clifton Road N.E., Mailstop E-60, Atlanta, GA 30333.
Residents with questions should call ATSDR Health Assessor Peter
Kowalski or Community Involvement Specialist Loretta Bush at
1-888-422-8737 or ATSDR Regional Representative Clayton Koher at
Contact staff writer Rick Neale at 419-734-7506 or mailto:email@example.com
Originally published Monday, July 14, 2003