ES&H Manual



6682 Beryllium Article Control and Handling



1.0            Purpose


Beryllium is present at Jefferson Lab in alloys and in pure and ceramic form for targets and various beamline components. Beryllium copper alloys can also be found in RF waveguide assemblies. The materials containing beryllium at Jefferson Lab are considered to be “articles”, which should presents no inhalation hazard under normal handling conditions, because handling of solid components does not normally result in measurable airborne beryllium particulate.


2.0            Scope

This chapter contains information on the control and handling of beryllium articles.


3.0            Inventory

3.1              Beryllium Inventory

·         Beryllium copper alloys used in waveguide assemblies.

·         Targets and windows used in the beamline in the CEBAF injector and experimental halls.


3.2              Control of Beryllium Inventory

·         Any beryllium purchases must follow the process outlined in ES&H Manual Chapter 6610 Appendix T2 Chemical Requisitioning and Receiving.

·         Beryllium articles must be kept in a locked storage area with labels (Figure 1) applied to the storage space.

·         Inventory is maintained by a custodian for the work group using the beryllium articles.


4.0            Hazard Avoidance


·         Handling and storage of beryllium articles at Jefferson Lab does not require a special work permit as long as the requirements in this chapter are met.

·         Always wear protective gloves when handling beryllium articles.

·         Welding or machining beryllium articles is prohibited at Jefferson Lab.

·         Specify non-beryllium components where possible when ordering electronic components.


5.0            Responsibilities


5.1              Supervisors/Subcontracting Officer’s Technical Representatives (SOTRs)

·         Identify employees handling beryllium articles and assure proper training.

·         Minimize the need for contact with beryllium articles, seek alternative material.

·         Utilize beryllium custodian to maintain inventory of all beryllium articles. Contact Industrial Hygiene for assistance with identifying custodian in a specific work area.

·         Store beryllium articles separately and with hazard avoidance signage.

·         Contact Industrial Hygiene for recycling or disposal of beryllium articles.


5.2              ESH&Q Division Industrial Hygienist

·         Maintain the site inventory of beryllium using information from beryllium custodians.

·         Conduct beryllium monitoring when necessary.

·         Accept waste beryllium articles and debris for proper disposal.


5.3              Occupational Medicine

·         Provide beryllium hazard awareness training.

·         Provide medical monitoring where appropriate.


6.0            Qualifications

·         Anyone handling beryllium articles must complete beryllium awareness training (MED11).


7.0            Program Summary


7.1              Regulatory Limits

Table 1:  Applicable limits

Limit Type


Relevant exposure and surface limit information


(2005 edition)

0.2 ug/m3

calculated as an 8-hour time weighted average (air limit)

DOE Housekeeping level

3 ug/100cm2

Maximum level of beryllium allowable on surfaces in  areas where beryllium is used (surface limit)

DOE release criteria

0.2 μg/100 cm2

Maximum level of beryllium for equipment that is being released to the general public or for use in a non-beryllium area of a DOE facility (surface limit).


The ACGIH threshold limit value (TLV) is an acceptable concentration of beryllium in air, averaged over an 8-hour workday that nearly all workers may be repeated exposed for a working lifetime without adverse effects. The TLV limit is mandated by 10 CFR 851, DOE Worker Safety and Health Program.


The housekeeping level and release criteria levels are mandated by 10 CFR Part 850, Chronic Beryllium Disease Prevention Program and are not to be exceeded.  


The process steps outlined in Sections 7.4 – 7.6 will identify work that may trigger limits in Table 1.


7.2              Hazard Communication

All beryllium articles must be labeled with the beryllium hazard sign (see figure 1). 


7.3              Handling and Storing of Beryllium Articles

·         Beryllium articles are to be stored separately in a locked storage area.

·         Hazard communication sign in Figure 1 is affixed to the storage container.

·         Handlers of beryllium articles must wear protective gloves.


7.4              Housekeeping

If surface contamination is suspected, suspend work and contact Industrial Hygiene immediately. In areas where beryllium articles are in use, surface contamination must be limited to 3 ug/100 cm2. Surfaces with beryllium contamination greater than 3 ug/100cm2 must be cleaned and monitored by IH until the surface is below the housekeeping limit.


7.5              Beryllium Release Criteria - Cleanup/Recycling/Disposal

·        Beryllium cleanup must be performed according to a work control document by trained personnel. Contact Industrial Hygiene for assistance with developing controls for cleanup tasks and air monitoring. This may be necessary in cases of contamination of experimental equipment due to varnish burn off or physical damage to a beryllium article resulting in cross-contamination of nearby surfaces.

·         Surface decontamination conducted to release equipment previously contaminated must be followed up by surface sampling. The release criteria standard is 0.2 μg/100 cm2. Surfaces with beryllium contamination greater than 0.2 ug/100cm2 may not be disposed or recycled until cleaned and monitored until the surface is below the release criteria limit.

·         If surfaces are not cleaned below the release criteria limit, the equipment must be submitted to Industrial Hygiene for hazardous waste disposal.


7.6              Response to Non-Routine Conditions Involving Beryllium Articles

Most beryllium articles used at Jefferson Lab are in the form of windows and most of these windows are protected with a coat of varnish. The varnish is applied by the vendor and is a protective barrier. When the windows interact with the electron beam, depending on their location, the beam may burn off this protective barrier (window appears to be charred in one location, see Figure 2 below).


Figure 2: beryllium windows showing varnish burn off


There could also be cases where beryllium articles may be damaged or broken during use and potentially cause contamination.


Actions required when article damage or varnish burn-off is observed:

·         Notify Industrial Hygiene if targets that have been in the beam and show evidence of burn off of protective coatings or beryllium contamination is suspected (i.e. window break) for housekeeping/release criteria monitoring and air monitoring.

·         Handle the beryllium article only while wearing protective gloves.

·         Cover the exposed surface with plastic and apply a beryllium hazard sign.


8.0            Revision Summary


Revision 1.0 – 12/14/15 – Periodic Review; updated to reflect current lab practices.

Revision 0.1 – 05/20/14 – Added Required Safety Training Table











ESH&Q Division

Jennifer Williams





This document is controlled as an on line file.  It may be printed but the print copy is not a controlled document.  It is the user’s responsibility to ensure that the document is the same revision as the current on line file.  This copy was printed on 12/14/2015.