Thousands of workers in the U.S. may develop a fatal lung disease because companies have exposed them to the highly toxic metal beryllium without safeguards or warnings, according to a Chicago Tribune investigation. Beryllium disease, once only a problem with the defense industry, appears to be on the rise in the electronics, recycling, and dental industries. It turns out that the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration rarely inspects companies that handle beryllium, whose toxic dust slowly damages victims’ lungs. Beryllium can now be found in golf clubs, cell phones, and computers, but experts say they have found no evidence that consumers are at risk from the products.

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