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Ohio Citizen Action flyer:
Feds want your opinion about beryllium

When Wednesday, June 27, 2001, 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Where Elmore Community Center, 410 Clinton Street
Who The Agency for Toxic Substance and Disease Registry, a public health agency of the federal government, will host the meeting.
What The agency is considering an investigation into the health dangers faced by people living, working, and going to school near Brush Wellman’s facility. This meeting will help decide whether or not they will do air and dust sampling to determine how much beryllium is in the community.

While in Ohio, the agency will meet with Brush Wellman and the Ohio EPA to hear their opinion of the dangers of beryllium. The public meeting is your opportunity to be heard and demand that the federal government conduct independent community testing.

Attend the public meeting

Your attendance at this meeting is critical. The more people who attend the meeting the more likely it is the testing will take place.

When you attend the meeting, please urge the agency to—

  1. Conduct extensive air and dust sampling to help determine community health dangers.
  2. Conduct the sampling independent of Brush Wellman.
  3. Establish a panel of community members and experts to review the sampling process and results jointly with the agency staff

If there is no way you can attend the meeting, you can call or write the agency:

Peter Kowalski
Agency for Toxic Substance and Disease Registry
1600 Clifton Rd, MS E32
Atlanta, GA 30333
(888) 422-8737 toll-free between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM

10 reasons why we need community testing

  1. The only known safe level of beryllium exposure is zero.

  2. Brush Wellman, on average, releases 2 pounds of beryllium into the air each day
  3. .

  4. In February, 2001, Brush Wellman’s facility had two accidents in three days:

    • On February 15, a chemical reaction in a 55-gallon barrel sent a 100-foot-wide plume containing beryllium into the community. The Toledo Blade reported that the release contained 65 micrograms of beryllium per cubic meter of air, which is 60 times higher than the monthly allowable average set by the EPA.

    • On February 17, a fire broke out when molten metal dripped on floor paint. Brush Wellman failed to notify the Ohio EPA of the fire. The agency learned of the fire only after a staff member happened to be listening to a police and fire scanner.

  5. Beryllium is a naturally occurring element in the environment, but people do not contract beryllium disease from naturally occurring beryllium. People contract beryllium disease from the processed beryllium coming from Brush Wellman.

  6. The only air monitoring for beryllium pollution in the community is controlled by Brush Wellman.

  7. Since 1958, when the Elmore plant opened, no government agency has ever conducted an expo- sure study to determine what levels of beryllium residents are exposed to or a health study to determine if people are contracting beryllium disease through air pollution.

  8. In October and November, 2000, Ohio Citizen Action tested the dust in automobiles, as well as dust inside and outside of homes near Brush’s plant. We found—

    • Of the six workers’ homes sampled, five had beryllium contamination in their carpet or vacuum cleaner.

    • Of the three cars owned by workers that were tested, all three had beryllium contamination present.

    • A swipe sample taken from the hood of a car belonging to a resident living across the street from the beryllium plant tested positive for beryllium contamination.

  9. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health published a study in 1997 showing that nearly 10% of the Elmore workforce either has beryllium disease or has abnormal blood tests indicating they are in danger of developing the disease.

  10. In 2000, residents living near a beryllium plant in Reading, PA filed a class action lawsuit against the owner of the plant seeking ongoing medical monitoring for members of the community.

  11. Because there is no national registry for beryllium disease, nobody knows for sure how many people have beryllium disease or are sensitized.
For more information, please contact Amy Ryder, (216) 861-5200, toll-free 1 (888) 777-7135.