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  • Beryllium Monitoring Study


    PDEQ conducted a special monitoring study to determine levels of beryllium in the air surrounding the Materion Ceramics, Inc. (previously Brush Ceramics, Inc.) facility in Tucson. PDEQ worked with the Sunnyside Unified School District (SUSD), the University of Arizona, and the Sonora Environmental Research Institute to develop a sound technical study to gather beryllium data. Monitoring data was collected and analyzed for more than eight years. The study was concluded in September of 2015.

    Project Objective

    PDEQ developed a monitoring plan and updated equipment and expanded the beryllium monitoring previously performed by SUSD. Data collected from the improved monitoring network allowed PDEQ to provide information on airborne beryllium levels at six different monitoring sites.

    Beryllium is naturally occurring in the soils of our region and is used in some of the manufacturing processes at the Materion Ceramics, Inc. (previously Brush Ceramics, Inc.) facility. The monitoring measured levels of airborne beryllium, but was not be able to determine the source of the beryllium. The data collected at the six monitoring sites was used to track trends, and any changes in the trends would have been compared with manufacturing activity at the Materion Ceramics, Inc. (previously Brush Ceramics, Inc.) facility to see if the trends correlate. The six monitoring sites were located at the SUSD Transportation Facility, the Los Ninos Elementary School, Los Amigos Elementary School, Ocotillo Elementary Schools, Sunnyside High School and Chaparral Middle School (see map below). The monitoring began on July 11, 2007 and concluded on September 30, 2015.

    Sample Analysis

    PDEQ consulted with Dr. Eric Betterton of the University of Arizona and Ann Marie Wolf of Sonora Environmental Research Institute to determine the best process to analyze the filters that were collected for beryllium. Samples were taken in accordance with the monitoring plan schedule. Sampling began on July 11, 2007 and continued on a daily basis until September 30, 2015. PDEQ performed quarterly audits and calibrations on all of the monitors.

    Beryllium Monitoring Lab Reports

    Other Monitoring Studies

    Other Beryllium Correspondence

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    Department of Environmental Quality

    33 N. Stone Ave., Suite 700
    Tucson, AZ 85701

    Phone: (520) 724-7400
    Fax: (520) 838-7432

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