A recent article from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that more than 7,000 Wisconsin workers are at risk for occupational lung disease from overexposure to a toxic chemical compound known as Diacetyl.
Diacetyl is a chemical compound that occurs naturally in beer, butter and coffee. The chemical is also an ingredient in artificial flavorings for popular snack foods like; candy, cookies, chips, microwave popcorn and pretzels.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the application of heat in food and beverage production process increases a worker’s level of exposure to flavoring chemicals in the air.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), deems diacetyl as safe to ingest in small amounts, but high concentrations of diacetyl in the air causes irreversible lung disease in workers who are routinely exposed to the toxic chemical everyday on-the-job.
The FDA goes on to state that “even if they are safe to eat, these ingredients might still be harmful to breathe in the forms and amounts to which food and chemical industry workers may be exposed.”
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel tested two medium-sized Wisconsin coffee roasters for diacetyl levels in the air at their facilities and found four times the safe concentration level set by the CDC.
If you suspect yourself or someone you know to be at risk for toxic chemical exposure while at work, contact or call workers’ comp attorney Jaron L. Mosier at (608) 755-8100 to schedule a consultation.
Throughout his career, Jaron has represented many Wisconsin workers and retirees in work-related chemical exposure cases achieve a fair outcome to help restore their quality of life.
For further information about on-the-job toxic chemical exposure claims, visit our page on workers’ comp chemical exposure claims.