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• Publication Date: 09/26/2007
• Publication Type: Proposed Rules
• Fed Register #: 72:54619-54621
• Standard Number: 1910
• Title: Occupational Exposure to Diacetyl and Food Flavorings Containing Diacetyl: Announcement of Stakeholder Meeting

[Federal Register: September 26, 2007 (Volume 72, Number 186)]
[Proposed Rules]               
[Page 54619-54621]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr26se07-32]                         

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DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

Occupational Safety and Health Administration

29 CFR Part 1910

 
Occupational Exposure to Diacetyl and Food Flavorings Containing 
Diacetyl: Announcement of Stakeholder Meeting

AGENCY: Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Labor.

ACTION: Announcement of stakeholder meeting.

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SUMMARY: The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 
invites interested parties to participate in or observe an informal 
stakeholder meeting on Occupational Exposure to Diacetyl and Food 
Flavorings Containing Diacetyl. This meeting is a continuation of 
OSHA's information collection efforts on Diacetyl and Food Flavorings 
Containing Diacetyl.

DATES: Stakeholder meeting: The stakeholder meeting date is October 17, 
2007, from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
    If more than 50 stakeholders register for the stakeholder meeting 
on October 17, 2007, a second meeting will be scheduled for October 18, 
2007, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. If the second meeting is needed on 
October 18, it will follow the same format and requirements as the 
first meeting and will be held at the same location. OSHA's Contractor, 
Eastern Research Group (ERG), will communicate with stakeholders by 
telephone or e-mail if a second meeting is scheduled.
    Notice of intention to attend the stakeholder meeting: You must 
submit a notice of intention to attend (i.e., to participate or 
observe) the stakeholder meeting by October 10, 2007.

ADDRESSES: Stakeholder meeting: The location for the stakeholder 
meeting is: Crown Plaza Hotel Washington National Airport, 1480 Crystal 
Drive, Arlington, Virginia 22202.
    Notices of intention to attend the stakeholder meeting: OSHA's 
contractor, ERG, is coordinating the registration, hotel arrangements, 
and logistics for the meeting. Seating is limited and pre-registration 
is required. Please include in your notice of intention to attend 
(i.e., to participate or observe) your full name, affiliation, address, 
telephone, and e-mail address. You may submit your notice of intention 
to attend the stakeholder meeting by October 10, 2007 by any of the 
following methods:
    Electronic: OSHA encourages you to submit your notice of intention 
to attend to meetings@erg.com (subject line: Diacetyl Meeting).
    Facsimile: You may fax your notice of intention to attend to 781-
674-2906.
    Telephone: You may register by phone by calling Eastern Research 
Group, Inc. at 781-674-7374.
    Regular mail, express delivery, hand delivery, messenger and 
courier service: Submit your notice of intention to attend to Laurie 
Stamatatos, Eastern Research Group, Inc., 110 Hartwell Avenue, 
Lexington, MA 02421-3136.
    Instructions: For further information on the stakeholder meeting 
and submitting notices of intention to attend (i.e., to participate or 
observe) the stakeholder meeting, see the ``Public Participation'' 
heading in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this notice.
    This document, non-attributed notes from the stakeholder meeting, 
as well as news releases and other relevant information, will also be 
available on OSHA's Web page at http://www.osha.gov.


FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Michael Seymour, Director, OSHA, 
Office of Physical Hazards, Directorate of Standards and Guidance, Room 
N-3718, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., 
Washington, DC 20210; telephone (202) 693-1950.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background

    On July 26, 2006, the United Food and Commercial Workers 
International Union (UFCW) and the International Brotherhood of 
Teamsters (IBT) petitioned DOL for an Emergency Temporary Standard 
(ETS) for all employees exposed to diacetyl, a major component in 
artificial butter flavoring. The petitioners cited evidence from the 
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health's (NIOSH) Health 
Hazard Evaluations (HHE) showing that some employees exposed to butter 
flavorings developed bronchiolitis obliterans, a debilitating and 
potentially fatal disease of the small airways in the lung. The 
petitioners also cited experimental evidence showing that inhalation 
exposure to artificial butter flavoring vapors and diacetyl damaged 
tissue lining the nose and airways of rats and mice. Diacetyl and a 
number of other volatile organic compounds are used to manufacture 
artificial butter food flavorings. These food flavorings are used by 
various food manufacturers in a multitude of food products including 
microwave popcorn, certain bakery goods, and some snack foods.
    Most of the available evidence regarding the development of 
bronchiolitis obliterans among employees exposed to food flavorings 
containing diacetyl comes from investigations of the microwave popcorn 
production industry. Bronchiolitis obliterans was first reported in 
eight former employees of the same microwave popcorn plant. Subsequent 
HHEs conducted by NIOSH from 2000-2004 at this and other microwave 
popcorn facilities uncovered additional employees with fixed airway 
obstruction disease consistent with bronchiolitis obliterans. Employees 
who routinely poured butter flavoring into heated, open mixing tanks 
without respiratory protection or operated packaging equipment in the 
vicinity of the mixing tanks experienced higher than expected rates of 
certain respiratory symptoms (e.g., chronic cough, shortness of breath 
upon exertion, wheezing) and airways obstruction. These employees 
tended to have the highest exposures to butter flavoring vapors 
containing diacetyl in the plants. OSHA is not aware of any new cases 
of serious airways disease consistent with bronchiolitis obliterans 
among microwave popcorn manufacturing employees since 2003.
    Obstructive airway disease compatible with bronchiolitis obliterans 
has been recognized in other related work settings. There have been at 
least fifteen cases of this disease identified in the food flavor 
manufacturing industry. Job history information indicates that the 
injured employees blended and mixed powder and/or liquid flavorings, 
including artificial butter flavorings containing diacetyl. Available 
exposure monitoring shows that air levels of diacetyl and other butter 
flavoring chemicals during powdered flavoring production were similar 
to those measured in the mixing areas of microwave popcorn plants where 
elevated airways disease was found. Efforts are underway to better 
understand the extent of flavoring-related airways disease in this 
industry and the exposure levels during high-risk job operations.
    Three cases of severe airways obstruction consistent with 
bronchiolitis obliterans were identified among a group of 102 
production process operators who worked at a diacetyl production plant 
in the Netherlands. Although exposure monitoring at the plant was 
limited, the available data indicate that diacetyl air levels during 
certain production tasks were in the range found during mixing 
operations in microwave popcorn and diacetyl-containing food flavor 
manufacture. The injured employees are also known to have been exposed 
to the butter flavoring compounds, acetoin and acetaldehyde, in 
addition to diacetyl.
    There is little information available on the use of food flavorings 
containing diacetyl in other workplaces. There are likely to be 
thousands of worksites where such flavorings are used and OSHA is 
seeking information on the nature of the flavoring formulations used, 
the processes in which they are used, the extent there is employee 
exposure, and the use and effectiveness of control measures. It is 
likely that at least some, if not many, of these workplaces may be 
using food flavorings in a fashion similar to that seen in microwave 
popcorn manufacturing. The available evidence for disease in this 
industry is sparse.

Stakeholder Meeting

    The stakeholder meeting will be an opportunity for informal 
discussion and the exchange of data, ideas, and points of view. To make 
the stakeholder meeting as productive as possible, OSHA requests that 
interested parties attending the stakeholder meeting be prepared to 
discuss the following issues relating to occupational exposure to 
diacetyl and food flavorings containing diacetyl in their respective 
industries, occupations, or operations:
     Uses of diacetyl and food flavorings containing diacetyl;
     Approaches to exposure assessment;
     Available exposure data;
     Controls (including substitutes) utilized to minimize 
exposure to diacetyl and food flavorings containing diacetyl; and
     Medical screening and surveillance.
    The stakeholder meeting will begin with OSHA's presentation on 
Agency perspectives related to occupational exposure to diacetyl and 
food flavorings containing diacetyl followed by stakeholder questions. 
OSHA will devote the remainder of the meeting to informal discussions 
on the topics above and related issues. Meeting participants are not 
expected to prepare and present formal testimony.

Public Participation--Submission of Notices of Intention To Attend

    You must submit, by October 10, 2007, a notice of intention to 
attend if you wish to participate in or observe the stakeholder 
meeting. You may submit your notice of intention to attend the 
stakeholder meeting (1) Electronically, (2) by facsimile, (3) by 
telephone, or (4) by hard copy.
    Notices of intention to attend the stakeholder meeting must include 
the following information:
     Name and contact information;
     Affiliation (e.g., organization, association), if any;
     Whether you wish to be an active participant or observer; 
and
     Whether you need any special accommodations in order to 
attend or participate in a stakeholder meeting.
    This document, as well as news releases and other relevant 
information, also are available at OSHA's Web page at http://www.osha.gov.

Authority and Signature

    This notice was prepared under the direction of Edwin G. Foulke, 
Jr., Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health. 
It is issued under Sections 4 and 8 of the Occupational Safety and 
Health Act of 1970 (29 U.S.C. 653, 657), and Secretary of Labor's Order 
No. 5-2007 (72 FR 31160).

    Signed at Washington, DC, on this 21st day of September, 2007.
Edwin G. Foulke, Jr.,
Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health.
[FR Doc. E7-19087 Filed 9-25-07; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4510-26-P

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