Investigations, done by the US-American National Institute for Occupational
Safety and Health (NIOSH), have shown that sufficient levels of work-related
exposure to certain chemical vapors in flavorings can cause severe, irreversible
lung disease. These chemicals, diacetyl and its closely related substitute
2,3-pentanedione, can be added to flavorings like the butter in microwave popcorn.
The disease, technically called obliterative bronchiolitis, is sometimes
called "popcorn lung because scientists originally described it in workers who
manufactured microwave popcorn.
A recent NIOSH study tested various coffee flavoring samples for these chemicals
and compared the findings to ingredients on safety data sheets required by the
Occupational and Health Administration (OSHA). Employers and employees should
know that flavoring mixtures can contain chemicals that are potentially
hazardous if breathed in, even if those chemicals are not listed on the safety
data sheets. Exposures to vapors arising from the flavorings can be minimized
through engineering and work practice controls and, potentially, other measures.
The study was published in the Annals of Work Exposure and Health.
AplusA-online.de - Source: The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)