beryllium nickel is a high-strength, low-temperature material with good corrosion resistance, hardness, and hot workability. It is used in the aerospace, telecommunications, and information technology industries.
The metal has a gray metallic appearance and is often used for X-ray equipment and particle physics. The atomic weight of beryllium is 9.012182, with a valence of 2 and an electron configuration of [He]2s2.
Occupational exposure to beryllium has been reported by workers involved in the manufacture of fluorescent lamps, in the manufacturing of steel structures and components, and in some mining operations. Exposure through inhalation or skin contact with beryllium-containing dust, fume, mist, or solutions can cause health effects, such as chronic beryllium disease.
Common symptoms of beryllium toxicity include upper and lower respiratory tract irritation, pulmonary edema, and chemical pneumonitis or bronchiolitis. Ingestion of beryllium can also lead to serious problems, including kidney failure and death.
Because of its strong reactivity, beryllium contaminates the air when it is inhaled or absorbed through skin or mucous membranes. It is particularly dangerous when it is inhaled directly into the lungs. It can destroy lung tissue and cause a progressive fibrosis of the lungs. Beryllium can also enter the skin and cause sarcoid-like granulomas. These granulomas can eventually penetrate the epidermis and cause ulcerations.