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Thursday, August 16, 2001

Brush Wellman fined $145,000 in Arizona case

Associated Press

TUCSON, Ariz. -- Beryllium manufacturer Brush Wellman Inc. has been fined for using a clothes dryer that released toxic dust into the air outside a plant.

The Cleveland-based company said Monday it had agreed to pay a $145,000 fine for violating air quality regulations at its Tucson plant.

An inspection last September found a clothes dryer used to launder worker uniforms tainted with toxic beryllium dust was being vented into the air outside the plant.

Beryllium disease, an incurable and often fatal ailment that has been linked to cancer, is the result of inhaling beryllium dust or fumes. It causes breathing to grow increasingly difficult as the metal eats away lung tissue.

Company officials said the venting was an administrative error and posed no risk to the public.