Berylliosis is a lung disease that affects people exposed to beryllium. Beryllium is a metallic element that is found in rocks, coal, soil, and volcanic dust and used in certain industries.

There are two types of berylliosis: acute and chronic.

  • Acute berylliosis is caused by brief exposure. It is rare today.
  • Chronic berylliosis is caused by long-term exposure. It is more common than acute, but still unusual.

Berylliosis is caused by inhalation of beryllium dust or fumes or other exposure such as through an open skin wound.

Berylliosis usually only occurs in people who have an allergic sensitivity to beryllium.