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NIOSH looks into diacetyl substitutes

January 18, 2011

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Washington – NIOSH is seeking information through Feb. 9 on the safety of proposed diacetyl substitutes.

Diacetyl – a chemical used in the food industry as a butter flavoring – has been linked to bronchiolitis obliterans, a fatal lung disease nicknamed "popcorn workers lung" after it developed in several workers in the popcorn manufacturing industry.

To develop appropriate informational documents and potentially establish a Recommended Exposure Limit for certain substitutes, NIOSH requested comment on the following:

  • Published and unpublished findings from in vitro and in vivo toxicity studies
  • Possible health effects in workers
  • Workplaces and products in which substitutes can be found
  • Exposure data
  • Control measures

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