andrew schneider investigates

March 17, 2008

More information on diacetyl

Several of you have asked for a Spanish version of information on the hazards to cooks from exposure to the chemical butter flavoring diacetyl. Fortunately, you don’t have to rely on my Spanish language skills honed in Cuba when Castro was still considered a good guy. Washington State has come through again.

SHARP, the Safety and Health Assessment and Research for Prevention program, has again beat the rest of the country and tonight posted the Spanish lanquage version of the diacetyl fact sheet.

If you want to see an example of a government agency doing all it can to address a public health and worker safety crisis, check out this letter that SHARP sent all the physicians in Washington State. In the letter, Dr. David Bonauto, associate medical director of the state Department of Labor & Industries, lists 17 of the scores of types of industries that use diacetyl beyond the much publicized microwave popcorn producers. Bonauto also tells the physicians to be vigilant for patients who work in other operations that use diacetyl-containing products.

Occupational medicine specialists at the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health also caution examining physicians that care is needed when considering what disease workers exposed to flavoring agents might be suffering from. They point our that before arriving at a final diagnosis of bronchiolitis obliterans, doctors of affected workers initially thought that the symptoms might be due to asthma, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, pneumonia, or smoking.

NIOSH information can be found on its Web site.


Leave a Comment »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: