NIOSH Publishes Guidance on Reducing Diacetyl Exposures
NIOSH released new guidance to reduce workers’ exposures to diacetyl through engineering controls, best work practices, and techniques for monitoring airborne diacetyl exposures. The document covers environmental monitoring for diacetyl and 2,3-pentanedione, a substitute for diacetyl; engineering controls for various work tasks such as small-scale weighing and handling of flavoring ingredients; administrative and work practice controls; personal protective equipment; and more. The guidance emphasizes diacetyl, but according to NIOSH, it can be applied to reduce exposures to diacetyl substitutes, including 2,3-pentanedione and other alpha-diketones. Occupational exposure to diacetyl, a chemical used to add buttery flavor to food and other products, can cause reduced lung function and puts workers at risk of developing the severe lung disease obliterative bronchiolitis. Workers who handle diacetyl or who work in areas where diacetyl exposure occurs are at risk if their exposures are not properly controlled. ​ The new guidance is available for download on NIOSH’s website.​