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Topic focus on diacetyl: a toxic compound in coffee roasting process

Millions of us love our coffee. In fact, it is certainly no exaggeration at all to note that many Americans can scarcely get going in the morning until that first caffeine fix gets their motor started.

There is a rarely noted downside related to coffee for thousands of people who work in the manufacturing industry, through, and it has nothing to do with caffeine ingestion.

Rather, it is all about diacetyl, a chemical compound that is released in the roasting process that turns green coffee beans into the form that enables them to be ground into a finished commercial product.

"It's prudent to be concerned" about diacetyl, notes one scientist working with a research component of the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The reason: Diacetyl is toxic, and workers breathing in the chemical compound at close proximity to it can suffer from incurable lung disease.

The dangerous toxic fumes released by diacetyl are both insufficiently researched and flatly worrying, note commentators.

"There needs to be hyper-awareness among people roasting and grinding coffee," says a principal with one roasting company in Wisconsin that allowed an independent air sampling of its plant. That inspection detected diacetyl levels that materially exceeded standards issued by CDC officials.

Toxic exposure of chemicals and other harmful substances is a constant and serious concern for workers in many American industries.

Myriad state and federal laws address workplace contaminants and provide for legal remedies in instances when workers suffer on-the-job injuries relating to toxic exposure. Questions relating to this singular workplace concern can be answered by an experienced workers' compensation attorney.

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