Dangers of BeO ceramics???

Erik Baigar uh40817 at sun4.lrz-muenchen.de
Tue Aug 8 09:43:25 EST 1995

toxicology is a difficult area. Nobody was able to tell me for example 
how dangerous beryllium-oxide ceramics really is. This kind of material is 
often used in small to medium argon-lasers. Since these lasers are quite 
common for lightshows etc. (I have got such a laser, too) there are often 
people confronted with this kind of material. 
The answers I got on my question about beryllium-oxide ceramics ranged 
from "No problem, like asbestos" to "Only plutonium is more toxic". The 
standard book here in Germany, the "GIFTLISTE", where all chemical 
substances are listed says that there is the suspicion that BeO-ceramics 
might cause cancer.
My question is: (1) Does anybody know about the dangers of BeO-ceramics? 
                (2) Exists there any literature about this theme?
I am especially interested in the kind the danger is of. Is perhaps the 
dust of BeO-ceramics dangerous if inhaled? (I think all aircooled lasers 
(most of the disco-lasers are aircooled) release extremely small quantities 
of such dust since the air is directly blown onto the hot BeO parts!)
Every hint is welcome...
Many thanks,
Erik Baigar, uh40817 at sunmail.lrz-muenchen.de

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