The Central Beryllium Institutional Review Board Meets for Review
A meeting of the Central Beryllium Institutional Review Board (CBeIRB) established in December 2001 by the Office of Science with support from the Office of Environment, Safety and Health will take place in Grand Junction, Colorado, on October 15-16, 2002. This Board was chartered to ensure effective, consistent, and continuing protection of human participants in beryllium research across the Department and, as a central body, reviews projects for all DOE sites where such research is carried out. Workers are considered as a “vulnerable population” and deserve no less protection than any other human subjects in research. The CBeIRB has member educational updates preceding each formal meeting focusing on concepts from bioethics, human subjects regulations, beryllium disease and beryllium science. The upcoming meeting will address both administrative matters such as membership nominations, mission statement, draft standard operating policy and procedures (SOPP) as well as an extensive review of study protocols. It is expected that the SOPP discussion will clarify the CBeIRB operation for participating sites. Of significance are several ongoing projects for review from Oak Ridge, Nevada Test Site, Idaho National Energy and Environmental Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Hanford Site, Savannah River Site, and others. A guest lecturer from the Department of Defense on the newly published DOD Beryllium policy also is scheduled. Further, a workshop is planned for 2003 to describe to Beryllium researchers and site IRB attendees how the CBeIRB functions, its expectations, and how DOE sites can perform better protocol reviews and provide improved oversight of human subject projects.