The Department of Energy has a long history of using beryllium – a metal essential for nuclear
operations and other processes. Exposure to beryllium can cause beryllium sensitization or even
Chronic Beryllium Disease, an often debilitating, and sometimes fatal, lung condition. In
December 1999, the Department established a Chronic Beryllium Disease Prevention Program
(Prevention Program) to reduce the number of workers exposed to beryllium at Department
facilities, minimize the levels of, and potential for, exposure to beryllium, and to establish
medical surveillance requirements to ensure early detection of the disease.