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OSHA – National Emphasis Programs (NEP) on Diacetyl – Are They or Aren’t They?

I’m not quite sure why the Agency has overlooked this, so I sent them an email to let them know of the oversight regarding the Diacetyl NEP. As we all know, OSHA released its first NEP (Diacetyl in Microwave Popcorn) in 2007 and that program ran its course so to speak.

Then in 2009, the Agency issued an expanded NEP (Food Flavorings Containing Diacetyl) and they have stated that they are looking at expading the program yet again to basically include “all” (I use that term loosely) food flavoring chemicals which may pose a hazard. According to the SHIB, this amounts to some 40-50 chemicals, including Furfural, Acethaldehyde, Acetic Acid, Acetoin, and many others.

Lets keep in mind: 1) OSHA published (albeit one with flaws) a new SHIB. Then, 2) Cal-OSHA published a new Diacetyl rule a few short weeks later. And now, 3) OSHA Regulatory Agenda is due to come out literally any day now.

But in the mean time, OSHA’s website makes it easy to find the old / expired NEP on Microwave Popcorn by having it posted on the list of active NEPs. By my count, there are the lucky #13 number of OSHA National Emphasis Programs currently underway. However, the NEP which covers the Food Flavorings Containing Diacetyl are nowhere to be found. I had to spend quite a bit of time searching, Googling, etc in order to find that NEP (it wasn’t all that easy to find, actually). It’s not even posted on its Health Topics Page. So why is the Agency seemingly going out of its way to hide the NEP? I don’t know. Could just be a simple oversight, though something tells me that it could have something to do with the upcoming Reg Agenda. I hope this isn’t some sort of omen for the Agency’s decision to either withdraw the diacetyl rule or delaying its proposal..!!!!

Hey OSHA…. can you please finally post the ALL of the NEPs on your website, please! Much appreciated!

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