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New Website a Resource on Health Aspects of Beryllium; Chronicles Brush Wellman's 56-Year Effort to Eliminate Chronic Beryllium Disease.

Business Editors


Brush Wellman Inc. (NYSE:BW) this week launched an informational website at, to serve as a resource about beryllium, chronic beryllium disease, and the steps Brush Wellman has taken and continues to take to eliminate the disease.

The site presents a timeline of events relating to the understanding of beryllium's occupational health effects over a 56-year time period that included the Cold War years.

"It demonstrates unequivocally -- decade by decade -- that Brush Wellman has been in the forefront of every major effort to identify and eliminate the hazards of beryllium exposure since those hazards were first identified in the United States in 1943," said Gordon D. Harnett, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Brush Wellman.

Steps the company has taken to tighten workplace practices at its plants to minimize inhalation and skin absorption of beryllium are also included.

Other contents of include:

-- A definition of beryllium, its unique characteristics and its

critical uses in society in articles such as air bag sensors,

fire extinguisher sprinkler heads, X-ray windows for mammography

and pacemakers;

-- A lengthy "point-counterpoint" to a series in The (Toledo) Blade

which falsely claims that Brush Wellman knowingly allowed a

life-threatening situation to drag on for decades that could have

been curtailed years earlier;

-- A Frequently Asked Questions section and a glossary of terms;

-- Biographical profiles on the individuals who comprise the

Beryllium Industry Scientific Advisory Committee;

-- A detailed bibliography of sources and research over time

pertaining to beryllium's health effects; and

-- The latest findings pertaining to beryllium's effects on worker

health as presented to the American Conference of Government

Industrial Hygienists in September, 1999.

"Brush Wellman is totally committed to the safety and health of our employees and to the value and quality of our products," said Harnett. "This website is our sincere effort to show the public that we have worked for more than five decades to lead the way to higher workplace standards, aimed at protecting the health of all the men and women in this company while fulfilling our vital role in modern society."

He said the site will be updated frequently and provides visitors with the opportunity to give feedback.

Chronic beryllium disease, or CBD, may occur in the manufacture of metallic beryllium, beryllium oxide ceramic, or alloys containing beryllium. It is an inflammation in the lungs that can result when a person is exposed to respirable beryllium fumes, dusts or powder, and subsequently demonstrates an allergic reaction to beryllium. Not everyone who is exposed to beryllium fumes, dusts or powder will develop CBD; most people do not.

Brush Wellman Inc., with headquarters in Cleveland, Ohio, is a manufacturer of engineered materials. The Company and its subsidiaries supply worldwide markets with Beryllium Products, Alloy Products, Electronic Products, Precious Metal Products, and Engineered Material Systems.
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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 14, 2000
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