Beryllium Nitrite

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beryllium nitrite is an inorganic compound, white to yellow crystalline powder. It reacts rapidly with air at 600 °C to form beryllium oxide and nitrogen. It reacts with strong acids and bases to give soluble beryllium compounds and ammonia. The substance is corrosive to the eyes, skin and respiratory tract. Inhalation of this compound may cause chemical pneumonitis. It may also cause chronic beryllium disease (CBD). Skin contact may cause dermatitis and non-healing ulcers. This chemical is a known human carcinogen, and is a likely teratogen.

This information is based on the GHS for beryllium nitrite. It is provided for general awareness only, and does not constitute any medical advice. If you need help with a specific health or safety issue, please seek professional advice from an appropriate source.

Chemicals and Products Database, Health and Safety Office, U.S. Coast Guard. (1996). CHRIS – Hazardous Chemical Data. Volume II. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office.

Beryllium nitrate, Be3N2, is the nitrate of beryllium and can be prepared by heating beryllium metal powder with dry oxygen in an inert atmosphere at temperatures up to 1400 °C. It is used in refractory ceramics and nuclear reactors and to produce radioactive carbon-14 for tracer applications. On heating it decomposes with simultaneous loss of water and formation of beryllium oxides and nitrogen.

Short-term exposure to beryllium nitrate at levels above the occupational exposure limit may result in chemical pneumonitis. The symptoms of this condition are a cough and difficulty breathing. Long-term exposure may cause chronic beryllium disease, which is characterized by fibrogenic lung alterations and a pulmonary hyperinflation. Gallic acid (3,4,5-trihydroxy benzoic acid; GA) and the chelator piperine have been shown to be effective in protecting against beryllium nitrate-induced biochemical alterations in the liver and kidney of female albino rats.