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
"I don't know what they've done, but attending as a guest of an
activist group when they're supposed to be beyond reproach in terms
of scientific independence and an unbiased first party smacks of
collusion, and that's just plain wrong," said Pat Carpenter, Brush
The ATSDR is a federal non-regulatory agency that has stepped in
to study the effects of beryllium on workers and community members
around the Elmore Brush Wellman plant.
No one at the ATSDR could be reached for comment Wednesday.
The agency was requested by U.S. Sen. Mike DeWine after Ohio
Citizen Action Program Director Amy Ryder called him.
It conducted a consultation in October, but officials said they
could not reach a conclusion on health concerns because of
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.
Only about 10 people have volunteered so far, and the agency is
looking for more Brush Wellman workers, nonworkers close to the
plant and nonworkers far from the plant to participate in the study,
The ATSDR will set up an appointment to come into the volunteer's
home to conduct swipe samples. The entire process takes about two
The sampling is anticipated to begin in March or April, with the
final report to be issued in April or June.
The sampling and interviews are conducted confidentially, so when
the final report is released, all identifiers are removed.
Carpenter said Wednesday his company is not against the
investigation, but wants it to be fair, with random samples and a
properly constructed control group.
"That's what Brush Wellman would expect of the U.S. government,"