NIOSH recommends exposure limits for two popular flavoring compounds

Exposure can cause serious respiratory diseases in employees

Posted November 8, 2016

After years of research, the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) released its recommendations for worker exposures to two common flavoring compounds: diacetyl and 2,3-pentanedione. Both compounds have been associated with serious respiratory diseases and decreased lung function in employees who have been exposed to them.

NIOSH intends the recommended exposure limits (RELs) for the compounds to reduce the risk of respiratory impairment and the severe irreversible lung disease obliterative bronchiolitis. In addition, NIOSH says ensuring employee exposures below the RELs will help prevent other adverse health effects such as irritation of the skin, eyes, and respiratory tract.

The final publication, titled “Criteria for a Recommended Standard: Occupational Exposure to Diacetyl and 2,3-pentanedione,” presents reviews of the scientific literature on the potential health effects, toxicology, and risk assessment connected to the two flavoring compounds. NIOSH also provides recommendations on engineering controls, work practices, and personal protective equipment to prevent and control workplace exposures to diacetyl and 2,3-pentanedione.

Find the document on the CDC website.

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