ACGIH (2006) described five animal studies (Clary et al. 1975; Morgareidge et al. 1975, 1976; Selivanova and Savinova 1986; Sharma et al. 2002) and concluded that “the doses and dose regimes are unlikely to be relevant to human occupational exposure” (p. 4). No human studies were described.
Extrapulmonary effects of beryllium compounds are not common and most often secondary to severe lung disease or related to extra-pulmonary granulomatous lesions in humans. Systemic effects of beryllium are generally observed only at high doses in animals. ATSDR (2002) provides a comprehensive review of both human and animal data. Cardiovascular effects in humans (cor pulmonale) and animals (heart enlargement or increased arterial oxygen tension) were judged to be probably secondary to lung disease. Human case studies did not report significant effects on hematologic measures, but intermediate-duration, high-dose exposures caused anemia in several species. Hepatic effects, other than granulomas in the liver, have not been reported in humans or animals. Kidney stones and increased calcium in blood and urine have been reported in people with CBD, and a cohort mortality study of beryllium workers found an increased risk of death from chronic and unspecified nephritis, renal failure, and other renal sclerosis (Ward et al. 1992). Renal effects in animals were noted by ATSDR (2002) to be minor at sublethal doses. Some adrenal-gland effects have been reported in animals. Neurologic effects have not been noted in humans or animals after inhalation of beryllium.
Studies of reproductive and development effects, as well as other extrapulmonary effects, have generally been observed only at doses higher than the lowest doses that induce CBD or cancer.