NIOSH has released formal recommendations for controlling workplace exposures to diacetyl and 2,3-pentandione, widely used food flavoring compounds that have been associated with decreased lung function in exposed workers.
The recommended exposure limits (RELs) were published recently in the NIOSH Criteria for a Recommended Standard: Occupational Exposure to Diacetyl and 2,3-Pentanedione.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) objective in establishing recommended exposure limits (RELs) for diacetyl and 2,3-pentanedione is to reduce the risk of respiratory impairment (decreased lung function) and the severe irreversible lung disease obliterative bronchiolitis associated with occupational exposure.
In this Criteria Document, NIOSH reviews the scientific literature concerning potential health effects, toxicology, and risk assessment pertaining to diacetyl and 2,3-pentanedione. Recommendations are provided on engineering controls, work practices, and personal protective equipment to prevent and control workplace exposures to diacetyl and 2,3-pentanedione.