178588 Genetic Susceptibility Testing for Beryllium: Against

Tuesday, October 28, 2008: 11:10 AM

Ken Silver, SM, DSc , Department of Environmental Health, ETSU, Johnson City, TN
Richard Sharp, PhD , Department of Bioethics, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH
Industries that process or fabricate beryllium are the most compelling real-world example of genetic testing for susceptibility to a workplace exposure. Voluntary employer-sponsored testing programs in which individual results are reported directly to workers in a confidential manner raise fewer ethical issues than do mandatory programs. However, our examination of voluntary programs using ethical and clinical criteria reveals interpretive challenges that limit the utility of the test. Concerns about suggesting a false sense of safety among workers, confidential participation and pressures to be tested also must be addressed. The potential lowering of social barriers to the implementation of mandatory worker screening is an additional concern.

Learning Objectives:
1. Cite examples of voluntary employer-sponsored testing programs. 2. Discuss ethical and clinical criteria for review of such programs. 3. Articulate concerns about use of a genetic test in beryllium workers.

Keywords: Genetics, Labor

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I publish and conduct research on this topic.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.