NORA Manufacturing Sector Strategic Goals
927ZHMYa - Criteria Document: DiacetylStart Date: 10/1/2008
End Date: 9/30/2013
Principal Investigator (PI)Name: Lauralynn Taylor
Funded By: NIOSH
Primary Goal Addressed5.0
Secondary Goal Addressed8.0
Attributed to Manufacturing
The purpose of the diacetyl criteria document is to (1) improve awareness of risks associated with exposure to diacetyl and (2) reduce exposure to diacetyl within the flavorings and food production industries, with the intended outcome of (3) reducing the occurrence of severe lung disease, and (4) reducing the occurrence of other health effects such as skin, eye, or respiratory irritation
The document will provide a Recommended Exposure Limit (REL) for occupational exposure to diacetyl, and provide specific engineering control measures and good work practices that will help reduce exposure to diacetyl in the flavor and food manufacturing industry. Implementation of the recommended exposure limit could significantly reduce exposure and potentially prevent disease. The exposure controls highlighted in this document may be used by CAL/OSHA and Federal OSHA in their rulemaking efforts.
The purpose of this project is to develop a policy document to set a Recommended Exposure Limit (REL) for diacetyl. Evidence from NIOSH health hazard evaluations and technical assistance efforts have identified bronchiolitis obliterans, a rare, respiratory disease in popcorn industry workers after exposure to diacetyl, a component of butter flavoring. Severe obstructive lung disease has also been recently documented in seven California workers who were involved in the production of flavorings. This project will summarize reviews of information from human and animal studies of the toxicity of diacetyl and is intended to describe an exposure limit that would be considered safe for occupational exposures to diacetyl. The criteria document will contain a critical review of the scientific and technical information about the prevalence of hazards, the existence of safety and health risks, and the adequacy of control methods.
The proposed schedule is:
FY 09 -10 Literature review/evaluation completed
FY10 -11 Identify relevant health effects, use and exposure data; prepare first draft
FY 11 NIOSH Internal review
FY 12 NIOSH External and OMB review
FY 12 Publish document
The document will provide a REL for diacetyl; specific engineering control measures and good work practices that will help reduce exposure to diacetyl in the flavor and food manufacturing industry. Implementation of the recommended exposure limit could significantly reduce exposure and potentially prevent disease. The exposure controls highlighted in this document may be used by CAL/OSHA and Federal OSHA in their rulemaking efforts.
NIOSH health hazard evaluations and technical assistance efforts have identified bronchiolitis obliterans, a rare, respiratory disease in popcorn industry workers after exposure to diacetyl, a component of butter flavoring. Severe obstructive lung disease has also been recently documented in seven California workers who were involved in the production of flavorings. Employees within the flavoring production industry have complex exposures in terms of the physical form of the agents (solid, liquid, and vapor) and the number of different chemicals used. Although there are thousands of flavoring compounds in use, only a small number have occupational exposure limits and there is no occupational exposure limit for diacetyl.
According to U.S. Census data from 2002, there were approximately 21,000 employees working in flavoring production. Additionally, the employment figures for the food production industry suggest that over 500,000 workers have potential exposure to diacetyl from employment in Bakeries and Tortilla Manufacturing, Dairy Product Manufacturing, Sugar and Confectionery Product Manufacturing and Other Food Manufacturing.
Consequently, NIOSH will develop a criteria document to set a Recommended Exposure Limit (REL)for diacetyl. This project supports the following goals:
Manufacturing Strategic Goal 5 (09PPMNFSG5): Reduce the number of respiratory conditions and diseases due to exposures in the manufacturing sector.
Manufacturing Strategic Goal 8 (09PPMNFSG8): Reduce the incidence of injuries, illnesses, and fatalities within small businesses (less than 100 employees) and specific subsectors within the manufacturing sector.
Respiratory Diseases (09PPRDRSG1)
Intermediate Goal (09PPRDRIG1.3): prevent and reduce flavorings-induced obstructive lung disease, including bronchiolitis obliterans.
Activity/Output Goal (09PPRDRAOG1.3.3): develop protective recommendations for exposure assessment and engineering controls in work settings using artificial flavorings; disseminate information to improve recognition of flavorings-induced lung disease by a range of groups, including clinical practitioners, public health officials, facilities using artificial flavorings, and workers using artificial flavorings; disseminate information and encourage health care providers to report cases of flavoring-induced lung disease to state health departments and NIOSH.
Activity/Output Goal (09PPRDRAOG1.3.4): provide regulators with information needed to address current requests for Emergency Temporary Standards for diacetyl and the data and risk assessments they will need for worker protection over the long term.
Activity/Output Goal (09PPRDRAOG1.3.5): conduct basic toxicology research, including inhalation toxicology studies, to better characterize the toxic potential and mechanisms of toxicity of diacetyl and other potentially toxic artificial flavorings.
Strategic Goal 1 (09PPCIDSG1): Increase by 30%, the translation of evidence-based research and promote the use of advanced dissemination systems to increase awareness of NIOSH scientific information products.
Strategic Goal 1 (09PPAURSG1): Reduce and prevent occupational injuries, illnesses, and fatalities by supporting NORA sector and cross-sector programs in the development of authoritative recommendations.
- Page last reviewed: July 22, 2015
- Page last updated: July 6, 2015
- Content source:
- National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Office of the Director