Examples of Flavors That May Contain Diacetyl and Substitutes
- Dairy flavors (e.g., butter, cheese, yogurt flavors).
- "Brown" flavors (e.g., caramel, butterscotch, brown sugar).
- Other flavors (e.g., butter pecan, some fruit flavors).
Industries and Jobs Using Diacetyl and Substitutes
- Flavor manufacturing plants.
- Plants where flavors containing diacetyl or substitutes are used, such as some makers of snack foods, baked goods, and candy.
- Jobs at or near mixing, weighing, pouring, transferring, or other handling of diacetyl or flavorings containing diacetyl, especially if heated.
- Cleaning and maintenance operations.
- Quality assurance and laboratory jobs.
If you work with flavorings containing diacetyl or substitutes for diacetyl, your employer should:
- Measure air in your workplace for flavorings exposure, including air in your breathing zone (personal air monitoring).
- Use engineering/work practice controls such as local exhaust ventilation, isolating processes, and restricting access to areas where diacetyl or its substitutes are used.
- Provide personal protective equipment (PPE) such as respirators, goggles, and gloves.
- Provide medical clearance for respirator use and provide instructions and training in protective equipment care and use.
- Refer workers for medical evaluation for symptoms of coughing, breathing difficulty, or eye irritation.
- Provide training on how you can protect your health.
Health Effects and Symptoms
- Breathing diacetyl can result in permanent lung damage, including a disabling and potentially fatal lung disease called bronchiolitis obliterans.
- Symptoms of flavoring-related lung disease include ongoing cough and shortness of breath. If you have either of these, ask your employer to send you to a doctor for evaluation.
- Flavorings containing diacetyl may also burn the eyes, cause soreness in the nose and throat, and irritate the skin.
* Diacetyl substitutes that have not been proven to be safe include diacetyl trimer, 2,3 hexanedione, 2,3 heptanedione, and 2,3 pentanedione.