Oak Ridge beryllium lab accredited

berylliumThe Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge beryllium laboratory, which is managed by Oak Ridge Associated Universities, has been accredited by the American College of Pathologists for the third time since 2009.

The Oak Ridge lab is reportedly one of only three in the United States that’s certified to do the lymphocyte proliferation test, which determines whether a worker has become sensitized to the lightweight metal. Workplace exposures to beryllium can lead to development of chronic beryllium disease, an incurable respiratory ailment.

Y-12 is among the facilities in the DOE nuclear weapons complex where beryllium exposures occurred and where workers have developed CBD.

The Oak Ridge test laboratory is part of DOE’s Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education. It began operations in 1992 and has processed more than 65,000 beryllium tests, mostly involving current or former workers in the DOE complex. According to ORAU, the error rate for beryllium testing is less than 0.25 percent.

Photo credit: ORAU

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About Frank Munger

Senior Writer Frank Munger covers the Dept. of Energy's Oak Ridge facilities and many related topics — nuclear weapons, nuclear waste and other things nuclear, environmental cleanup and science of all sorts. Atomic City Underground is, first and foremost, a news blog, but there's room for analysis, opinion and random thoughts that have no place else to go.