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Vaping Community Unhappy with Harvard Study Showing Diacetyl in Majority of Flavors Tested

When a Harvard study was conducted of e-cigarette flavorings, it confirmed that 47 of the 51 flavors tested contained one of three closely related chemicals: diacetyl, 2,3 pentanedione and acetoin. The chemicals are used as flavoring agents. The study was published in Environmental Health Perspectives, a peer-reviewed journal published by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Diacetyl and its close cousins, 2,3 pentanedione and acetoin, have been under scrutiny in recent years because of their links to serious lung diseases such as bronchiolitis obliterans, better known as “popcorn lung” because of the popcorn flavoring factory workers that were diagnosed with the disease. It’s only treatable by lung transplant, so ... Read More

NIOSH Recommends Ongoing Assessments of Hazards Associated with Diacetyl Exposure

The food flavoring industry and flavoring chemicals have been under the scrutiny of National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) for the last decade. Of particular interest is the use of diacetyl, or its substitute, 2,3 pentanedione, a flavoring that produces a buttery or creamy taste, put in a wide variety of products from bakery products, microwave popcorn, and coffee to e-cigarettes. NIOSH has even published a set of “best practices” guidelines for the chemical exposure. The concern has been the potential respiratory damage linked to exposure to the chemicals. They are naturally produced during the coffee-roasting process, but it’s the grinding of the ... Read More

Diacetyl-linked Bronchiolitis Obliterans Cases On the Rise

Lawsuits involving claims of bronchiolitis obliterans linked to diacetyl exposure are on the rise as more and more people are coming forward claiming their lung disease was caused by inhalation of the chemical. 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 a patient coughing, wheezing, experiencing shortness of breath and fatigue. The only treatment for bronchiolitis obliterans is a lung transplant. The disease has been heavily linked to diacetyl, a chemical used for artificial ... Read More

Professional Cooks at Risk for Diacetyl Exposure

Last year published an article warning against the chemicals found in cooking sprays, advising the consumer to check the ingredients before using the product. Deborah Enos, a certified nutritionist author, corporate health speaker and board member of the American Heart Association, writes that she was “shocked” to see the ingredients listed on a can of cooking spray, and decided to stop using them based on what she saw. “I prefer to keep the chemical consumption in my home at a minimum,” she writes. Diacetyl was among the ingredients listed, which is a chemical that has been a health concern ... Read More

CDC Warns Coffee Roasters of diacetyl exposure danger: Keep Face Away From Bins of Roasted Beans

About 600,000 workers across the nation roast, grind, package and serve coffee on a daily basis. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns workers to keep their faces away from the bins of roasted coffee beans. When the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel sent its own industrial hygienist to collect samples of the air in Just Coffee and another Wisconsin roastery, they tested for the presence of diacetyl and 2,3 pentanedione. The samples taken near coffee roasting bins far exceeded the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recommended levels, and in some cases, were as much as four times greater than recommended levels. Diacetyl ... Read More

Texas Woman Diagnosed with Severe Lung Disease After Years of Occupational Diacetyl Exposure

Julysabel Cerda is only 35 years old and had worked at a coffee roasting plant in Texas since 2007. Part of her everyday routine was climbing the ladder to the mezzanine at the top of a grinder where coffee beans were processed. She would stir the beans, inhaling aromas that are suspected of destroying her lungs. Only a year after working there, she began to notice being increasingly winded after climbing the same ladder every day. She was fit, healthy and active otherwise. She suspected something must be wrong. A cough persisted, her throat constantly felt dry, and she couldn’t figure out why ... Read More

Diacetyl In Coffee Flavorings Suspected in worker’s severe Lung Injury

Emanuel Diaz de Leon was living in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, in 2009 when he was taking care of his family’s grocery store business. He grew weary of the dangerous threat of drug cartel members, and decided to move his family to the United States, where he was born. They found an ideal home in Tyler, Texas, and settled in. When Diaz de Leon took a job at a coffee roasting plant, he was completely unaware of the health risk involved in the coffee roasting business. In spring of 2010 he was promoted to work in the flavor room. Diaz de Leon was thrilled with ... Read More

Naturally Occurring Diacetyl Just as Dangerous to Inhale as Synthetic Substitute

Diacetyl and 2,3 pentanedione (a diacetyl substitute) are produced by chemical manufacturers. The volatile organic compound is used as a flavoring agent in products such as microwave popcorn, flavored coffee, cake mixes, prepackaged frosting, and many other types of foods. Diacetyl also can be found in nature. Green, unroasted coffee beans contain little to no diacetyl, but the roasting process produces naturally occurring diacetyl. The chemical can be released into the air around the roaster, posing a possible hazard if inhaled. Ground coffee beans create a larger surface area for these chemicals to become airborne, regardless of whether the beans have been ... Read More

High Levels of Diacetyl Found in the Air at a Small Coffee Roasting Plant

When diacetyl and 2,3 pentanedione (a diacetyl substitute) was tested for in the air at a small coffee roasting plant, the levels were shockingly high, according to a study published last year by Toxicology Reports, an online journal. According to the study, green unroasted coffee beans contain little to no diacetyl or 2,3-pentanedione. It’s the roasting process that plumes the toxicity into the air, and if a facility doesn’t have proper ventilation, the concentrations could prove to be health-damaging. A second study published by Toxicology Reports by some of the same authors simulated a coffee-shop setting where the exposure to both the barista and ... Read More

Diacetyl Commonly Found in E-Cigarettes: Is It Toxic?

At a public workshop event put on by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in March of 2015 regarding electronic cigarettes and the public health, diacetyl was the center for discussion for its use in e-cigarettes, and its potential toxicity to the lungs when inhaled. Diacetyl and 2,3 pentanedione (a diacetyl substitute) are chemicals that produce a buttery or creamy flavoring. It is found in microwave popcorn, flavored coffee, ready-to-mix desserts, oil sprays, and many more processed products. It is also a common chemical used in flavorings of e-cigarettes. The potential danger of diacetyl is alarming:  when inhaled, the person ... Read More