Occupational Hygiene - Diacetyl
A man-made chemical compound used for food and drink flavouring, diacetyl is perfectly harmless when ingested, but can pose a health risk if inhaled once it has been heated during manufacturing processes.
If measures are not put in place to prevent the inhalation of diacetyl, research shows that employees can be at risk of lung disease including bronchiolitis obliterans, which may develop to the stage where a lung transplant is necessary.
Food and drink manufacturing employees are most at risk, together with chemical workers involved in the production of diacetyl. It is commonly used to mimic the taste and texture of butter, for example in popcorn, and for flavouring food, beer, coffee and e-liquids used for vaping.
Employers have a duty to protect the health and safety of their employees from risks relating to the inhalation of diacetyl under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) 2002.
In August 2018, the Health & Safety Executive introduced new and revised Indicative Occupational Exposure Limit Values (IOELVs) for 31 chemical substances. The European Union is also seeking similar measures.
Employers in food and manufacturing sectors must be aware of the new limits and how they will impact on their current arrangements for complying with the existing COSHH regulations in the UK and the Chemical Agents Directive in EU countries.
This includes diacetyl, for which new workplace exposure limits will bring additional challenges for food, drink and e-liquid manufacturers.
Your occupational hygiene partner
Bureau Veritas works with employers of all sizes to help achieve and maintain compliance with relevant regulations.
Working to the latest guidelines and statutory requirements, our experienced team of occupational hygiene consultants are on hand to support your specific requirements.
• Workplace exposure assessments• Mechanical inspections including Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV)
• Achieve and maintain compliance with all relevant regulations• Demonstrate your commitment to the health and safety of employees• Gain complete peace of mind from a trusted, independent compliance partner• Access to a full range of testing, inspection and certification services from qualified Bureau Veritas experts
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