Flavorings-Related Lung Disease

A new Topic Page provides a resource for findings and recommendations by the
U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to reduce
the risk of severe obstructive lung disease (bronchiolitis obliterans)
associated with occupational exposures to flavorings. Bronchiolitis obliterans
is a serious, irreversible lung disease whose symptoms include cough and
shortness of breath on exertion.

The main respiratory symptoms experienced by workers affected by bronchiolitis
obliterans include cough (usually without phlegm) and shortness of breath on
exertion. The severity of the lung symptoms can range from only a mild cough to
severe cough and shortness of breath on exertion. These symptoms typically do
not improve when the worker goes home at the end of the workday or on weekends
or vacations. Usually these symptoms are gradual in onset and progressive, but
severe symptoms can occur suddenly. Some workers may experience fever, night
sweats, and weight loss. Before arriving at a final diagnosis, doctors of
affected workers initially thought that the symptoms might be due to asthma,
chronic bronchitis, emphysema, pneumonia, or smoking.

The topic page provides background on NIOSH's extensive research into this
occupational disease, outlines the symptoms associated with and treatment for
bronchiolitis obliterans, and discusses recommended control measures for
reducing job-related exposures to flavorings.

In order of preference, according to standard occupational health practices,
NIOSH recommends that employers minimize occupational exposures to flavorings
or flavoring ingredients by:

  • Substituting a material or materials that may be less hazardous, after
    carefully evaluating potential substitutes
  • Using engineering controls such as closed systems, isolation, or ventilation
  • Instituting administrative controls such as housekeeping and work practices
  • Educating employers and employees to raise their awareness of potential
    hazards and controls
  • Using personal protective equipment where needed as an adjunct to primary
    engineering or administrative controls
  • Monitoring occupational exposures and the status of workers health, tracking
    potential symptoms or cases, and reporting such symptoms or cases

Also on the page are links to key NIOSH resources and reports stemming from its

Further Information

AplusA-online.de - Source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)