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  Monday, July 14, 2003

 Top Stories

Beryllium tests due in Elmore
Meeting tonight

Staff writer

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 industries.

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 312-353-6086.

Contact staff writer Rick Neale at 419-734-7506 or mailto:rneale@fremont.gannett.com

Originally published Monday, July 14, 2003

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