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Evaluation of exposures and respiratory health at a coffee roasting and packaging facility.
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    "In October 2015, the Health Hazard Evaluation Program of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) received a request from management at a coffee roasting and packaging facility regarding concerns about health issues related to exposure to diacetyl during coffee roasting, grinding, and packaging. During February 27-March 2, 2017, we conducted an industrial hygiene survey, ventilation assessment, and medical survey at the facility. The industrial hygiene survey consisted of the collection of air samples and bulk samples of coffee for the analysis of diacetyl, 2,3-pentanedione, and 2,3-hexanedione. Continuous monitoring instruments were used to monitor total volatile organic compounds, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, temperature, and relative humidity in specific areas and during tasks. The medical survey consisted of a health questionnaire and breathing tests. One of the three personal full-shift air samples exceeded the NIOSH recommended exposure limit for diacetyl of 5 parts per billion. The personal air sample that exceeded the recommended exposure limit for diacetyl was collected on an employee with primary job duties on the production floor. None of the personal full-shift air samples exceeded the NIOSH recommended exposure limit for 2,3-pentanedione. The highest partial-shift and task-based diacetyl and 2,3-pentanedione exposure measurements were observed on employees that ground coffee, or worked in the packaging area near the grinders. Areas with ground coffee present, specifically the two main grinders, had the highest levels of diacetyl, 2,3-pentanedione, total volatile organic compounds, and carbon monoxide. We observed high instantaneous levels of carbon monoxide during grinding. Carbon monoxide levels measured on employees that ground coffee exceeded the NIOSH ceiling limit of 200 parts per million. Carbon dioxide levels were low throughout most of the facility. Nose and sinus symptoms were the most commonly reported symptoms. Some employees reported their symptoms were better when away from work. One of the five participants had abnormal spirometry. We recommend a combination of engineering and administrative controls to minimize employee exposures. We also recommend a medical monitoring program to identify any employees who might be developing work-related lung disease (e.g., asthma, obliterative bronchiolitis) and to help management prioritize interventions to prevent occupational lung disease." - NIOSHTIC-2

    NIOSHTIC no. 20050902

    Recommended citation for this report: NIOSH [2017]. Health hazard evaluation report: evaluation of exposures and respiratory health at a coffee roasting and packaging facility. By Hawley B, Reynolds L, Nett R, Martin S. Morgantown, WV: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, NIOSH HHE Report No. 2016-0005-3303.

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