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National News Release 07-1457-NAT
Sept. 24, 2007
Contact: Sharon Worthy
Phone: (202) 693-4676


OSHA announces three actions to protect workers exposed to butter flavorings

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced today that it is taking the following three actions that will address concerns regarding diacetyl exposure in the workplace:
  1. Initiating a rulemaking under section 6(b) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act.
  2. Issuing a Safety and Health Information Bulletin (SHIB).
  3. Providing Hazard Communication Guidance.
These actions build upon the National Emphasis Program that OSHA announced in April 2007 to focus on the health hazards of microwave popcorn butter flavoring containing diacetyl.

"OSHA's goal is to protect workers from exposure to chemical hazards associated with microwave popcorn manufacturing," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Edwin G. Foulke Jr. "Our open, transparent regulatory process will seek information and guidance from all stakeholders to gather the best information on the health effects of exposure to diacetyl. That information will allow us to institute effective protections for workers."

The SHIB provides information on health effects for workers exposed to butter flavorings in microwave popcorn processing plants; information on exposure controls that may be used to reduce exposures to butter flavorings; and information on applicable OSHA standards.

The Hazard Communication Guidance alerts employers, workers, manufacturers and importers about new information related to the health hazards associated with diacetyl and food flavorings containing diacetyl; and provides guidance on how to develop material safety data sheets and hazard warning labels to be in compliance with OSHA's Hazard Communication Standard.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their workers. OSHA's role is to assure the safety and health of America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual process improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.


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U.S. Labor Department releases are accessible on the Internet at www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format upon request (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the COAST office. Please specify which news release when placing your request. Call (202) 693-7765 or TTY (202) 693-7755. DOL is committed to providing America's employers and employees with easy access to understandable information on how to comply with its laws and regulations. For more information, please visit www.dol.gov/compliance.
Archive Notice - OSHA Archive

NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.

OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents

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