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RE: Beryllium dust
I doubt there is much too worry about. Beryllium metal dust is toxic but the
major concern is with the oxide. Since EDM occurs in a water bath, you
shouldn't be generating much, if any. Once the particles are removed by the
filter, they should be trapped in the fibers. Dusting will not be a problem
if the filter is kept wet. I suppose they could encapsulate the filters in
concrete if they wanted to be totally safe but this will add to disposal
weight and cost. Trying to filter out the particles by some means that would
allow recovery for reuse is likely to increase employee exposure.
From: Clement, Brent [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Monday, September 18, 2000 7:49 AM
Subject: Beryllium dust
Hi from NH,
I have a client that works with a beryllium (62%), aluminum (38%) alloy.
The company machines this material using and EDM process. All the cutting
is done submerged in water. The water is filtered through a pair of 10
micron filters. At this time they replace the filters 3-5 times a year
(6-10 filters/yr) but they expect the amount to increase significantly.
They are presently bagging the used filters and sending them to land-fill.
Exposure to the dust through inhalation can cause health problem and the
company is concerned that if the bag is torn, someone handling the bag for
the waste company could be exposed to the dust. The material can't be
substituted for as it is specified by government contract. Does anyone know
if this dust can be recycled or have knowledge of how to safely handle and
dispose of this material?