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Longitudinal Surveillance for Beryllium Disease Prevention OMB No. 0920-0463 (formerly titled Gene-Environment Interactions in Beryllium Sensitization and Disease Among Current and Former Beryllium Industry Workers)—Extension—National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)—Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Beryllium is a light weight metal with wide application in modern technology. The size of the USA workforce at risk of beryllium exposure is estimated at approximately one million, with exposed workers in primary production, nuclear power and weapons, aerospace, scrap metal reclaiming, specialty ceramics, and electronics industries. Demand for beryllium is growing worldwide, which means that increasing numbers of workers are likely to be exposed. An acute pneumonitis due to occupational exposure to beryllium was common in the 1940s and 1950s, but has virtually disappeared with improvements in work-site control measures. However, even with improved controls as many as 5% of currently-exposed workers will develop chronic beryllium disease (CBD).
CBD is a chronic granulomatous lung disease mediated through a poorly understood immunologic mechanism in workers who become sensitized. Sensitization can be detected using a blood test, that is used by the industry as a surveillance tool. The blood test for sensitization was first reported in 1989, but many questions remain about the natural history of sensitization and disease, as well as exposure risk factors. Sensitized workers, identified through workplace surveillance programs, undergo clinical diagnostic tests to determine whether they have CBD. The proportion of sensitized workers who have beryllium disease at initial clinical evaluation has varied from 41-100% in different workplaces. Sensitized workers often develop CBD with follow-up, but whether all sensitized workers will eventually develop beryllium disease is unknown. Early diagnosis at the subclinical stage and careful follow-up seems prudent in that CBD usually responds to corticosteroid treatment. However, the efficacy of screening in preventing adverse outcomes of the disease has not yet been evaluated. Research has indicated certain genetic determinants in the risk of CBD; follow-up studies will be invaluable for further characterizing the genetic contribution to sensitization and disease.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) wants to determine how beryllium workers and former workers develop beryllium disease and how to prevent it. Through the proposed study, NIOSH has the opportunity to contribute to the scientific understanding of this disease in the context of environmental and genetic etiologic factors. The goals of this investigation are to: (1) Determine the occurrence of beryllium sensitization or disease; (2) seek an association with exposure measurements; (3) explore genetic determinants of susceptibility to CBD; and (4) characterize genetic determinants to ascertain if they are associated with clinical impairment or progression of disease. Through a greater understanding of the environmental and genetic risk factors associated with the onset and progression of CBD, NIOSH will be able to develop strategies for both primary and secondary prevention applicable to beryllium-exposed workers. The total annualized burden for this data collection is 263 hours.
|Respondents||Number of respondents||Number of responses/respondent||Avg. burden/response (in hours)|
Dated: November 13, 2002.
Nancy E. Cheal,
Acting Associate Director for Policy, Planning and Evaluation, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
[FR Doc. 02-29669 Filed 11-20-02; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4163-18-P