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Small Coffee Roastery Plans to Appeal Citation for Exceeding Legal Diacetyl Levels

A small coffee roastery in Minnesota was served with a citation last week for diacetyl levels exceeding the legal maximum. Steve Olsen, who owns Custom Roasting, Inc., located in Buffalo, says he was shocked when the company received the $1,250 fine. “I’ve been doing this for 28 years and I have no lung issues whatsoever,” he said. The citation, based on tests taken last October, states the diacetyl levels were steady at .026 parts per million (ppm). The the legal short-term exposure maximum is .02 ppm. “Our ventilation isn’t terrible, we have a large room, we have fans, things like that, we ... Read More

CDC Issues Warning to Workers in Food and Beverage Industry to Beware of Diacetyl

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has finally issued a warning regarding the dangers of diacetyl exposure. The warning advises to beware of diacetyl exposure in general, but advises workers in the coffee, popcorn and other food and beverage making industries to take extra precautions. Diacetyl is a naturally occurring chemical in the coffee roasting process, but can also be artificially created for use in foods, drinks and e-cigarettes flavor liquids to mimic the creamy taste of butter. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the chemical is safe when consumed in trace amounts, but inhalation is harmful. ... Read More

More than 600,000 food industry workers Could Be at Risk for Diacetyl Exposure

Last October, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) finalized a warning to coffee workers, popcorn plant workers and other food and beverage-making workers about the dangers of diacetyl exposure. Diacetyl is a naturally occurring chemical in the coffee-roasting process, and can be artificially added to other foods and drinks, such as microwave popcorn, baking products, and beer. The flavoring is an enhancement that mimics the creamy, smooth taste of butter. According to the FDA, it is safe to eat in trace amounts, but breathing it has been linked to serious respiratory illnesses such as bronchiolitis obliterans, a deadly disease in ... Read More

NIOSH Recommends Food Production Workers Take Precautions if Working Near Diacetyl

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is a branch of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that has made specific recommendations to protect food production workers from the harmful effects of diacetyl and its substitute, 2,3 pentanedione. Diacetyl and 2,3 pentanedione, food flavoring additives, have been linked to serious lung diseases such as obliterative bronchiolitis, better known as “popcorn lung.” The disease earned its nickname from the microwave popcorn plant workers that developed the disease in 2000 after long-term exposure to the chemical, which is used to mimic the creamy taste of butter. Popcorn lung is when the smallest ... Read More

NIOSH conducts health hazard evaluations at coffee-processing facilities after identifying diacetyl exposure hazard

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is the workplace-safety arm of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The agency has recently increased its interest in the hazards of exposure to diacetyl and other similar workplace chemicals. Diacetyl a flavoring agent that mimics the creamy taste of butter, and is used in products such as baking mixes, microwave popcorn, beer, and e-cigarette liquids. A recent study has linked the chemical to Alzheimer’s Disease. It has also been linked to lung damage that leads to bronchiolitis obliterans, better known as “popcorn lung,” a disease where the smallest airways of the lungs have ... Read More

Worker exposure to diacetyl is much more widespread than initially thought

Bronchiolitis obliterans, an irreversible lung disease, first attracted attention 16 years ago when it was diagnosed in a handful of workers at a microwave popcorn processing plant in rural Missouri. The disease, now referred to as “popcorn lung,” has been linked to diacetyl exposure. The disease happens when the smallest airways of the lung become scarred and restricted. The only treatment is lung transplant. David Egilman, a doctor and clinical professor of family medicine at Brown University in Providence, R.I., said of the disease, “It’s like you’re drowning all the time.” Diacetyl and its substitute, 2,3-pentanedione, is a flavoring agent that is used in many products ... Read More

FDA Does Not Require Diacetyl to Be Listed On Labels

Diacetyl has been under a lot of scrutiny in the last few years for its links to severe negative effects on the lungs. It is a flavoring agent that mimics the creamy taste of butter, and is used in products such as baking mixes, microwave popcorn, beer, and e-cigarette liquids. Recently, a study has linked consumption of the chemical to Alzheimer’s Disease. It has also been linked to lung damage that leads to bronchiolitis obliterans, a disease where the smallest airways of the lungs have become inflamed and scarred, severely restricting airflow. Lawsuits have been aimed at flavoring manufacturers for the lung ... Read More

Chemical Used to Replace Diacetyl is Just as Dangerous

Many lawsuits have been filed by employees of flavoring companies that used diacetyl as an ingredient, claiming long-term exposure to the substance has caused a nonreversible respiratory disease called bronchiolitis obliterans. Bronchiolitis obliterans is a serious lung disease in which the smallest airways of the lungs become scarred and restricted, diminishing breathing. It is often misdiagnosed as asthma, bronchitis, emphysema or even pneumonia because the symptoms are similar, with a patient coughing, wheezing, experiencing shortness of breath and fatigue. The only treatment for bronchiolitis obliterans is a lung transplant. Diacetyl has been found in many products such as microwave popcorn, flavored coffee, baking products, beer and ... Read More

Diacetyl, Acetoin and 2,3-Pentanedione Found in 92 percent of E-Cigarettes

In the early 2000s, several workers of a popcorn plant became ill with bronchiolitis obliterans – or “popcorn lung” – after they endured long-term exposure to diacetyl, a chemical used in flavorings to mimic the creamy taste of butter. Although many major popcorn manufacturers have since taken the chemical out of their microwave popcorn, people are still at risk for exposure. Diacetyl can be found in baking mixes, candy, alcohol, flavored yogurt, snack foods, cheese, and coffee. According to the FDA, diacetyl is safe when consumed in trace amounts. But when it is inhaled, the person is at risk for developing serious lung diseases ... Read More

Study Links Consumption of Diacetyl with Alzheimer’s Disease

Talk of diacetyl has risen in recent years, especially after eight workers at a popcorn plant were diagnosed with bronchiolitis obliterans after prolonged exposure in the early 2000s. For this reason, the disease is also referred to as “popcorn lung“. Bronchiolitis obliterans is a serious lung disease in which the smallest airways of the lungs become permanently blocked by excess scar tissue. It is often misdiagnosed as asthma, bronchitis, emphysema or even pneumonia because the symptoms are similar, with the patient experiencing a persistent cough, wheezing, shortness of breath and fatigue. The only treatment for bronchiolitis obliterans is a lung transplant. Diacetyl (DA) is used for artificial ... Read More