OSHA Proposes Rulemaking on Diacetyl, Seeks Comments

OSHA published an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on occupational exposure to diacetyl and food flavorings containing diacetyl in the Jan. 21 Federal Register and is requesting public comments.

The proposal seeks comments on a range of issues relating to diacetyl, including but not limited to:

  • Production and uses;
  • Employee exposure;
  • Health effects;
  • Risk assessment;
  • Exposure assessment and monitoring methods;
  • Control measures;
  • Employee training;
  • Medical surveillance;
  • Environmental and economic impacts; and
  • Approaches to regulation.

“This open and transparent rulemaking process will allow us to better determine effective ways to control hazards and ensure employee safety and health in the workplace,” said acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Thomas M. Stohler. “The input from the public is important as we strive to develop a standard that addresses the elements associated with exposure to diacetyl and food flavorings containing diacetyl.”

The Federal Register notice added that OSHA also seeks information on acetoin, acetaldehyde, acetic acid, furfural and other food flavoring compounds that could contribute to flavoring-related lung disease; diacetyl present in substances other than food flavorings; and substitutes used in place of diacetyl, such as diacetyl trimer.

“The information received in response to this document will assist the Agency in developing a proposed standard addressing occupational exposure to diacetyl and food flavorings containing diacetyl,” the notice read.

To submit comments electronically, log onto http://www.regulations.gov, the federal e-rulemaking portal, and follow the online instructions. Alternatively, three copies can be sent to OSHA Docket Office, Docket Number OSHA-2008-0046, U.S. Department of Labor, Room N-2625, 200 Constitution Ave. N.W., Room N-2625, Washington, D.C., 20210. Comments not exceeding 10 pages can be faxed to 202-693-1648.

All comments must be submitted by April 21, 2009.

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