Workplace exposures Guidance

NIOSH releases best practices on reducing diacetyl exposure


Cincinnati – Employers whose workers are exposed to diacetyl now can obtain guidance from a new NIOSH document.

The resource, released in July, recommends best practices such as engineering controls, work practices and exposure monitoring to help reduce workers’ exposures to the organic compound, which is commonly used as an artificial butter flavoring.

Worker exposure to diacetyl has been linked to an increased risk of developing certain lung diseases. To better protect workers from diacetyl and diacetyl substitutes, NIOSH recommends several steps, including:

  • Sampling and analyzing for diacetyl vapor in the air
  • Designing ventilation systems to keep production areas at a negative air pressure with respect to nearby areas
  • Using personal protective equipment, including respiratory protection, as a last resort after engineering controls
  • Establishing, implementing and maintaining a medical surveillance program for all exposed employees