The National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety (NIOSH) will hold a public meeting August 26, 2011, to solicit public input on a draft document titled “Criteria for a Recommended Standard: Occupational Exposure to Diacetyl and 2,3-pentanedione.” Diacetyl is a butter-flavoring chemical widely used in baked goods and microwave popcorn. Numerous lawsuits have been filed against flavoring manufacturers by workers and others alleging that inhaling the substance caused their bronchiolitis obliterans, a debilitating lung condition. Pentanedione is also a constituent of synthetic flavoring agents.

NIOSH will make the draft document available online by August 12, and those wishing to participate in the public meeting must notify the NIOSH docket office no later than August 19. Public comments must be submitted by October 14.

With limited meeting space, NIOSH will give priority to those who register to provide oral comments; 10 minutes will be allotted to each presenter. Among the matters that will be discussed are hazard identification, risk estimation, health effects, basis for recommended exposure limit, locations and individuals most at risk of exposure, and current control strategies. If time permits, others registered on a first-come basis to attend the meeting will have an opportunity to present their comments. The meeting will open with a presentation by federal officials. See Federal Register, July 25, 2011.