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Category Press Release
Publish Date 11/14/2017
Author Paul Cochrane
Title California Coffee Roasters and Exposures to Respiratory Hazards
Introduction LA Testing provides analytical services and sampling supplies to identify airborne chemical and microbial pollutants to protect workers.

Huntington Beach, CA, November 14th, 2017

Across California there are thousands of coffee shops that cater to people’s obsession with coffee. Many of these locations also roast their own coffee beans which could in some cases expose workers to airborne chemicals that could cause health concerns over time.

Just last year, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) published the science blog, Coffee Workers at Risk for Lung Disease. It discussed diacetyl and a diacetyl substitute (2,3-pentanedione) which are both volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are produced naturally and commercially. According to the NIOSH post, diacetyl and 2,3-pentanedione are produced as ingredients in flavorings that are added to some food products. These include microwave popcorn, bakery mixes and flavored coffee. However, they are both also naturally produced when coffee beans are roasted. The article goes on to discuss five workers from a coffee processing facility who were diagnosed with a lung disease known as bronchiolitis obliterans.

“In recent times, the potential negative health effects associated with worker exposures to diacetyl and food flavorings containing diacetyl (FFCD) have come under increasing scrutiny from public health professionals,” said Michael Chapman, Laboratory Manager at LA Testing’s Huntington Beach facility. “The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) has reported that employees exposed to FFCD have developed serious respiratory illnesses in the past. Persistent dry cough, wheezing, shortness of breath upon exertion, and fixed airways obstruction on spirometry have been observed. Some employees have been diagnosed with asthma or bronchiolitis obliterans.”

To help to protect workers from respiratory exposures to chemical and biological hazards, LA Testing offers a wide range of air testing services, sampling supplies, monitoring instruments, and respirators and other personal protective equipment (PPE). LA Testing has even sponsored a video about diacetyl workplace exposure concerns that can be seen at: https://youtu.be/lqF6bd3UELg.

To learn more about industrial hygiene, indoor air quality (IAQ), environmental or occupational testing services, please visit www.LATesting.com, email info@LATesting.com or call (800) 755-1794.

About LA Testing

LA Testing is California’s leading laboratory for indoor air quality testing of asbestos, mold, lead, VOCs, formaldehyde, soot, char, ash and smoke damage, particulates and other chemicals.  In addition, LA Testing offers a full range of air sampling and investigative equipment to professionals and the general public. LA Testing maintains an extensive list of accreditations including: AIHA LAP LLC., AIHA ELLAP, AIHA EMLAP and AIHA IHLAP, CDC Elite, NVLAP, State of California, State of Hawaii Department of Health and other states.  LA Testing, along with the EMSL Analytical, Inc. network, has multiple laboratories throughout California including South Pasadena, Huntington Beach, San Leandro and San Diego.