Berylliosis

National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

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It is possible that the main title of the report Berylliosis is not the name you expected.

Disorder Subdivisions

  • None

General Discussion

Berylliosis is a form of metal poisoning caused by inhalation of beryllium dusts, vapors, or its compounds or implantation of the substance in the skin. The toxic effects of beryllium most commonly occur due to occupational exposure. Beryllium is a metallic element used in many industries, including electronics, high-technology ceramics, metals extraction, and dental alloy preparation.

There are two forms of beryllium-induced lung disease, acute and chronic. Acute berylliosis has a sudden, rapid onset and is characterized by severe inflammation of the lungs (pneumonitis), coughing, increasing breathlessness (dyspnea), and other associated symptoms and findings. In addition, in some individuals, the skin or the eyes may be affected. The more common, chronic form of the disease develops more slowly and, in some cases, may not become apparent for many years after initial beryllium exposure. Chronic berylliosis is characterized by the abnormal formation of inflammatory masses or nodules (granulomas) within certain tissues and organs and widespread scarring and thickening of deep lung tissues (interstitial pulmonary fibrosis). Although granuloma development primarily affects the lungs, it may also occur within other bodily tissues and organs, such as the skin and underlying (subcutaneous) tissues or the liver. In individuals with chronic berylliosis, associated symptoms and findings often include dry coughing, fatigue, weight loss, chest pain, and increasing shortness of breath.

Supporting Organizations

American Lung Association

55 W. Wacker Drive
Suite 1150
Chicago, IL 60601
USA
Tel: 1-800-548-8252
Email: info@lung.org
Website: http://www.lungusa.org

Center for Health, Environment and Justice

P.O. Box 6806
Falls Church, VA 22040-6806
Tel: (703)237-2249
Fax: (703)237-8389
Email: info@chej.org
Website: http://www.chej.org

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

1600 Clifton Road NE
Atlanta, GA 30333
Tel: (404)639-3534
Tel: (800)232-4636
Email: cdcinfo@cdc.gov
Website: http://www.cdc.gov/

Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center

PO Box 8126
Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126
Tel: (301)251-4925
Fax: (301)251-4911
Tel: (888)205-2311
Website: http://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/GARD/

NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

NIAID Office of Communications and Government Relations
5601 Fishers Lane, MSC 9806
Bethesda, MD 20892-9806
Tel: (301)496-5717
Fax: (301)402-3573
Tel: (866)284-4107
Email: ocpostoffice@niaid.nih.gov
Website: http://www.niaid.nih.gov/

For a Complete Report

This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). For a full-text version of this report, go to www.rarediseases.org and click on Rare Disease Database under "Rare Disease Information".

The information provided in this report is not intended for diagnostic purposes. It is provided for informational purposes only.

It is possible that the title of this topic is not the name you selected. Please check the Synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and Disorder Subdivision(s) covered by this report.

This disease entry is based upon medical information available through the date at the end of the topic. Since NORD's resources are limited, it is not possible to keep every entry in the Rare Disease Database completely current and accurate. Please check with the agencies listed in the Resources section for the most current information about this disorder.

Last Updated:  4/7/2009
Copyright  2009 National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.