That said, it must be remembered that while the metal and its alloys are not toxic in solid form, if beryllium enters the body by way of fumes, dust or soluble compounds, it can be extremely toxic, causing chronic beryllium disease. It is therefore likely with the knowledge and facilities they already have that the largest recyclers will be the leading companies, such as Materion, that already produce beryllium products.
And if this is actually the case, much of the beryllium recycled will tend to remain within "closed" recycling loops. (If nothing else, this will ensure that trying to forecast demand for the primary metal will be even more difficult than it already is!)
For those who enjoy sleuthing, there is still some to do relating to beryllium. And I cannot find the answers.
USGS has noted that in 2009, imports of beryllium amounted to an estimated 24 tons. In 2011, the estimate was 91 tonnes. However, in 2010, the figure was a massive 271 tonnes.
The five questions are:
1) Who sold it?
2) Who bought it?
3) How many shipments were there: two, three?
4) In what form was it?
5) What was the actual value of the beryllium imported?
I am afraid I can offer no prize, save for a mention at the beginning of my next article.