05/04/2007

Focus on health hazards of microwave popcorn butter flavorings containing diacetyl

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration
(OSHA) today announced that it is initiating a National Emphasis Program (NEP)
to address the hazards and control measures associated with working in the
microwave popcorn industry where butter flavorings containing diacetyl are used.

"We recognize that there are potential occupational health hazards associated
with butter flavorings containing diacetyl," said Assistant Secretary of Labor
for Occupational Safety and Health Edwin G. Foulke Jr. "Under this program,
OSHA will target inspection resources to those workplaces where we anticipate
the highest employee exposures to these hazards."

The NEP applies to all workplaces where butter flavored microwave popcorn is
being manufactured.

In January, 2006, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
(NIOSH) released an investigative report on a microwave popcorn production
facility. Several employees from this facility were diagnosed with
bronchiolitis obliterans ­ a severe obstructive lung disease. Following a
number of lung function tests and air sampling, NIOSH determined that
inhalation exposure to butter flavoring chemicals is a risk for occupational
lung disease. OSHA's National Emphasis Program will provide direction on
inspection targeting and procedures, methods of controlling the hazard and
compliance assistance.

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AplusA-online.de - Source: U.S. Department of Labor  Occupational Safety & Health Administration