An occupational disease created by the inhalation of fumes or dust containing the metallic element beryllium. Small exposure to higher concentration of beryllium can lead to an episode of extreme pneumonitis (lung inflammation). Exposure over a number of years to lower concentrations can lead to permanent liver and lung damage.
Corticosteroid drugs is often the treatment that is given. This can reduce damage to the lungs. In the majority of cases, the introduction of safe working practices will prevent exposure to dangerous levels of beryllium.