Chemical & Toxic Metal Safety

Employees who manufacture metals and metal products are at risk of exposure to the following harmful chemicals commonly found in metal products and metal manufacturing processes:

  • Beryllium 
  • Cadmium 
  • Hexavalent Chromium
  • Lead 
  • Silica


The element beryllium (Be) is a gray metal that is used industrially in three forms: as a pure metal, as beryllium oxide, and as an alloy with copper, aluminum, magnesium, or nickel. Beryllium is frequently present in foundries and metal fabrication plants.

Workers may be exposed to beryllium by inhaling or contacting beryllium in the air or on surfaces. Inhaling or contacting beryllium can cause an immune response that results in an individual becoming sensitized to beryllium. Individuals with beryllium sensitization are at risk for developing a debilitating disease of the lungs called chronic beryllium disease (CBD), if they inhale airborne beryllium after becoming sensitized. Beryllium-exposed workers may also develop other adverse health effects, such as acute beryllium disease and lung cancer.  

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