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Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine:
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e3181d6c338
Original Articles

Evaluation of a Preventive Program to Reduce Sensitization at a Beryllium Metal, Oxide, and Alloy Production Plant.

Bailey, Rachel L. DO, MPH; Thomas, Carrie A. PhD; Deubner, David C. MD, MPH; Kent, Michael S. MS, CIH; Kreiss, Kathleen MD; Schuler, Christine R. PhD

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Abstract

Objective: We evaluated a workplace preventive program's effectiveness, which emphasized skin and respiratory protection, workplace cleanliness, and beryllium migration control in lowering beryllium sensitization.

Methods: We compared sensitization prevalence and incidence rates for workers hired before and after the program using available cross sectional and longitudinal surveillance data.

Results: Sensitization prevalence was 8.9% for the Pre-Program Group and 2.1% for the Program Group. The sensitization incidence rate was 3.7/1000 person-months for the Pre-Program Group and 1.7/1000 person-months for the Program Group. After making adjustments for potential selection and information bias, sensitization prevalence for the Pre-Program Group was 3.8 times higher (95% CI = 1.5 to 9.3) than the Program Group. The sensitization incidence rate ratio comparing the Pre-Program Group to the Program Group was 1.6 (95% CI = 0.8 to 3.6).

Conclusions: This preventive program reduced the prevalence of but did not eliminate beryllium sensitization.

©2010The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine

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