What is the outlook for someone who has beryllium disease?

The natural history of chronic beryllium disease (CBD) is currently incompletely understood. While some people may have granulomas in their lungs without experiencing untoward effects or symptoms, others develop respiratory (breathing) impairment that can be progressive over time or stable with treatment, while others develop progressive disease that may lead to disability and death.

There is no way to predict the course of a specific individual. This is why it is important to be evaluated and followed by a physician experienced in treating CBD.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 04/25/2019.


  • US Department of Energy, Office of Environment, Healthy, Safety and Security. About Beryllium Accessed 4/30/2019.
  • Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. Workplace Safety & Health Topics: Beryllium Accessed 4/30/2019.
  • Balmes JR, Speizer FE. Chapter 256. Occupational and Environmental Lung Disease. In: Longo DL, Fauci AS, Kasper DL, Hauser SL, Jameson J, Loscalzo J. eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 18e. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill; 2012.
  • Kreiss K, Fechter-Leggett ED, McCanlies EC, et al. Research to Practice Implications of High-Risk Genotypes for Beryllium Sensitization and Disease. JOEM 2016; 58 (9): 855-860.

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