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NIOSH 20 articles

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 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

CDC Suggests Workers at Coffee Roasting Facilities Wear Fit-Tested Respirators

It’s not uncommon for workers at coffee processing facilities to develop occupational asthma due to lung irritation from the coffee bean dust. But a newfound risk has been discovered for coffee roasting workers – diacetyl exposure. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) took air samples at coffee roasting facilities and found high levels of diacetyl in the air that puts workers at risk for developing obliterative bronchiolitis. This is a serious lung disease in which the smallest airways become restricted or blocked, diminishing the air circulation throughout the airways, which results in severe shortness of breath and a dry ... Read More

New Chemical Safety Law establishes risk-based standards

On June 22, 2016, President Obama signed a new chemical safety law that will amend America’s primary chemicals law. The Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act will forever change the Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) and the evaluation of chemicals as we know it. This new act mandates the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) be responsible for evaluating existing chemicals with a new risk-based safety standard. The act will also set up better public “transparency” for chemical information and provides steady funding for the EPA to carry out its new requirements. Until June, the TSCA had never been ... Read More

Sales of E-cigarettes Expected to Increase Seventeenfold in the Next Fifteen Years

With flavoring descriptions such as “an exotic fusion of pineapple and coconut with champagne infused blueberries” and “creamy milk chocolate and rich peanut butter flavors,” who can resist the draw of e-cigarettes? E-cigarette manufacturers have picked up on the increase of sales when there are a wide variety of flavors – more than 7,000 total so far – but public health experts are concerned with the addictive nature of nicotine in the vaping liquids, which opens the door to harmful chemicals sucked into the lungs. Many believe that e-cigarettes serve as a gateway to smoking tobacco, particularly for minors. E-cigarettes are far from “safe,” as ... 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

Professional Cooks at Risk for Diacetyl Exposure

Last year FoxNews.com 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