[Federal Register: September 26, 2007 (Volume 72, Number 186)]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
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.
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
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
Electronic: OSHA encourages you to submit your notice of intention
to attend to firstname.lastname@example.org (subject line: Diacetyl Meeting).
Facsimile: You may fax your notice of intention to attend to 781-
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.
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.
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;
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]
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