July 17, 2009 The Pump Handle 1Comment

Last week, the Small Business Advocacy Review Panel submitted its “Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act” (SBREFA) Panel Report to acting OSHA chief Jordan Barab, on the draft proposed rule on worker exposure to diacetyl.  The 259-page document summarizes (and attaches) the comments of 16 “small entity representa-tives” (SERs) who would be potentially affected by the […]

May 22, 2009 The Pump Handle 2Comment

A few days ago, I expressed my annoyance with OSHA about its SBREFA meeting on the  draft proposed rule on diacetyl, the lung-damaging, butter-tasting food additive.   OSHA had announced earlier in the year that this pre-proposal dialogue with small employer would be “open to the public.”  I anxiously awaited public notification about the open meeting, only to find out on Wednesday afternoon […]

May 20, 2009 The Pump Handle

Two months ago, I applauded OSHA for announcing that its SBREFA panel meeting on a draft diacetyl proposed rule would be open to the public.  Today, I feel schnookered.  OSHA hosted its teleconference-meeting yesterday (5/19) and today (5/20) with specially-selected small employers, but failed to provide meaningful notice to allow the public to participate.  Is a […]

April 30, 2009 The Pump Handle 6Comment

Labor Secretary Solis announced today the next step in OSHA’s effort to propose a rule to protect workers exposed to the butter-flavoring agent diacetyl.  The Small Business Administration and OSHA identified 13 “small-entity representatives” (SERs, defined by SBA as companies with 500 or fewer employees nationwide) to serve on the panel which allows them to review the […]

April 7, 2009 The Pump Handle 1Comment

The lung disease bronchiolitis obliterans came to be called “popcorn workers lung” because this once-rare disease started afflicting workers from microwave popcorn plants with an alarming frequency. Scientists traced the disease, which destroys sufferers’ lungs, to the butter-flavoring chemical diacetyl. Two unions petitioned the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to issue an emergency temporary standard […]

March 17, 2009 The Pump Handle 1Comment

With an announcement today in the Federal Register, Labor Secretary Solis’ OSHA is moving in a new direction to address occupational exposure to diacetyl.  The butter-flavoring agent is associated with respiratory harm, including bronchiolitis obliterans.  Just six days ago, Ronald Kuiper, 69, a former American Pop Corn Co succumbed to the disease. OSHA announced it is withdrawing the advanced notice […]

December 16, 2008 The Pump Handle 1Comment

[See update at end of post] The OMB website which lists those rules currently under review by OIRA has a new item today: something from OSHA on Diacetyl.   (See this screenshot for the OMB listing, and this reference to the rule on Regs.gov.)  You’ll recall this is the butter-flavoring agent associated with severe respiratory disease in exposed workers, including individuals working in microwave […]

December 11, 2008 The Pump Handle

TO:   All worker health and safety advocates, seekers of justice and protections for working people, and friends of healthy work environments:   The American Public Health Association’s (APHA) OHS Section has not, and will not, forget about the deadly and disabling illnesses caused by workplace exposure to the butter flavoring agent diacetyl.  Our solidarity with workers is demonstrated through our scientific research, teaching and policy […]

September 25, 2008 The Pump Handle

Four U.S. Senators have written to Labor Secretary Chao and OSHA Asst. Secretary Foulke expressing serious concern that “OSHA has failed to make significant progress in addressing the continuing hazards” of diacetyl.  They asked for a response by October 8 to four simple questions, including a list of inspections conducted as part of OSHA’s national emphasis […]

September 10, 2008 The Pump Handle 3Comment

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer’s Andrew Schneider reports on another lawsuit from a consumer who says his lungs have been damaged by years of microwave popcorn consumption. The most famous microwave-popcorn consumer, Wayne Watson of Denver, filed suit earlier this year. Watson drew national attention after he was diagnosed with bronchiolitis obliterans, a disease previously found only […]