Custom Roasting, Inc. a small coffee roastery in Buffalo, Minn. got quite the jolt when MNOSHA slapped them with a $1,250 citation Tuesday.
The citation was issued after what the owner, Steven Olson, calls a questionable diacetyl inspection he claims OSHA blindsided him with in December.
The inspection followed the CDC’s call for protections of coffee workers, popcorn and other food and beverage making businesses in October.
While the FDA deemed diacetyl safe to consume in trace amounts, inhaling it has proven deadly.
MNOSHA Compliance approved plans to inspect a pilot number of sites in 2016 listing those that produce coffee in bulk “most likely to be of concern.”
“The compliance focused on bulk producers, rather than local coffee shops. In comparison with popcorn, where diacetyl was most often associated with the artificial butter flavoring and any substitute products, it appears diacetyl is naturally released by the coffee beans,” wrote Shelly Techar, a MNOSHA Management Analyst, in a newsletter issued in July.
According to MNOSHA and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, diacetyl attacks and inflames the lung’s airways and can lead to bronchiolitis obliterans, a permanent and serious respiratory illness. Exposure can also cause eye and skin irritation and other respiratory illness.
“We’re not sure how he was supposed to know about this,” said Olson’s son Brandon, who serves as the warehouse manager.
The citation claims Olson’s roastery exceeds legal diacetyl levels and he did not “furnish each employee, conditions of employment, and a place of employment free from recognized hazards which caused or were likely to cause death or serious injury to employees.”
Olson has been a coffee roaster for nearly three decades.
“I've been doing this for 28 years and I have no lung issues whatsoever,” the owner insisted.
Olson also says he only employs three people and on average he alone roasts coffee beans for two hours a day.
Olson’s citation lists his October 2016 diacetyl levels hold at 0.026 parts per million (ppm). Just barely over the short-term exposure limit which is 0.02ppm.
“It’s such a miniscule amount. We feel like we're being zeroed in on a little bit and it doesn't seem fair,” said Brandon.
The Olsons also call into question the novelty of diacetyl inspections and the amount of time spent conducting the tests in comparison to real-time, daily exposure.
“Our ventilation isn’t terrible, we have a large room, we have fans, things like that, we weren’t using them that day,” shared the son.
“If that work would’ve been done over a normal eight-hour day we go into the other room, we do some labeling, we do other things and we’re not consistently in the back warehouse roasting and grinding coffee,” the owner told Fox 9.
“From now on every employee here will have to wear a respirator,” Brandon told Fox 9 of a new requirement he considers a pricey nuisance. “The hassle of having to wear that while working here just seems a little nonsensical.”
The Olsons will file an appeal and worry the strict test could damage the family business.
OSHA declined Fox 9’s request for an on-camera interview Wednesday adding they do not comment on active investigations.
If the Olson’s request for a re-test is granted and diacetyl levels remain over the legal limit they say they are more than happy to comply and pay the citation.
By: Iris Perez
Missouri is that unassuming state tucked away in America's Midwest. On its western edge, Kansas City is famous for barbecue, hosting the annual American Royal Barbecue, the world's largest competitive barbecue event. It's also home to Kansas City jazz, the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. On the Mississippi side, St. Louis boasts the Gateway Arch and the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial. It's home to the National Blues Museum and the Pulitzer Arts Foundation. Mark Twain and Brad Pitt both grew up in Springfield, which is also where visitors will find the Fantastic Caverns, the only cave in North America that offers a completely ride-through tour. The Ozark Mountains, Branson's Nickelodeon Kids Fest, and many other attractions are on hand to fill any summer holiday with fun.
A toxic tort is a type of personal injury lawsuit in which the plaintiff claims that exposure to a chemical caused the plaintiff's injury or disease. Often these are some of the most difficult liability cases to resolve because the amount and duration of exposure are not clear.
One example is found in “spouse exposure,” where a worker brings home toxins from the workplace. Their spouse does the laundry and is exposed as well. The question now is what is the amount of exposure? This is where molecular biology and biomarkers are revolutionizing objective testing related to mesotheliomas and other cancers.
What is a biomarker and how will it help with toxic tort liability?
By Dr. Roshini Raj
As a jet-setting mom, gastroenterologist, and founder of probiotic skincare line TULA, Dr. Roshini Raj knows spring break comes with health risks.
In an effort to keep your break all about the sun and fun – without illness, injury, or fatigue killing your buzz – Dr. Raj gave Travel + Leisure her tips on how to stay healthy while enjoying your vacation.
Don't be a fool at the pool bar.
Nothing says vacation more than lounging on the beach with a fruity cocktail in your hand, but don’t be fooled by that innocent-looking tiny umbrella. While it is hard to taste the alcohol mixed in with all the fruit juice, those drinks can contain high alcohol content, not to mention tons of calories and sugar.
And day drinking in the hot sun when you are already prone to dehydration will make you more dehydrated and will cause you to get drunk more quickly. So be mindful of how many drinks you consume during the day and alternate each alcoholic drink with a tall glass of water. Also, sticking to spirits with a splash of lemon or lime and soda will help curb the calorie overload.
It’s cool to be shady.
Snow and sand both reflect the sun, so whether you are on the slopes or the beach, proper sun protection is a must. Not only does UV radiation cause skin cancer, but it also is the number one cause of aging skin – i.e. wrinkles and dark spots.
So in addition to using your SPF and regularly reapplying – especially after sweating or going in the water – you should use lightweight, sun-protective clothing and a hat whenever possible.
This is very important for children, whose skin is even more sensitive to the sun. Remember that UV exposure during childhood is a major factor in determining skin cancer risk down the road.
What happens in Vegas does not always stay in Vegas.
Single and ready to mingle? Vacation is about having fun, but not about taking unnecessary sexual risks. STDs know no borders – so pack and use condoms if there is the possibility of a sexual encounter. But also make wise choices: Be wary of being alone with a stranger, and make sure that your friends know where you are at all times. Drink judiciously so that your judgment remains intact and you do not put yourself in dangerous situations.
Step away from the buffet.
Having fun on vacation does not mean you need to gorge yourself at every meal. Having healthy snacks on hand for the airport as well as the trip itself – like nuts, fruit, and baby carrots – will keep you satiated and less likely to overdo it during mealtime.
Buying food and preparing one or two meals a day in your hotel or vacation home will not only save you money but will also ensure that you are eating healthier. Of course you should enjoy the local foods and not deprive yourself too much, but don’t go overboard just because the food is plentiful.
Taking a vacation is important for our mental and physical health because it allows us time away from the daily stresses of work and home life and an opportunity to recharge. Make sure you incorporate downtime into the vacation schedule so you can literally do nothing but relax.
This is very important for children also, who tend to be over-scheduled these days. Prioritize sleep as well – you will get more out of your vacation if you are well rested, and you will feel truly rejuvenated when you get back to real life.
If you or a loved has been the victim of medical negligence or personal industrial injury contact Tom Burcham today. We will hold those that are negligent accountable. Call: or email TomBurcham@TomBurcham.com
We are ready to fight for your rights.
Medical Malpractice lawsuits are a check and balance on the medical system. Statistics show and we would estimate that medical errors cause more than a quarter million deaths in this country annually (that doesn't include millions of other medical errors that go unreported or are not large enough to bring a medical malpractice lawsuit for). Without lawsuits, we're lucky if doctors get fined $10,000.00 and get a 'slap on the wrist" for operating on the wrong part of the body.
Now Congress is trying to reduce this one main check and balance on the medical profession by reducing the amount that victim's families (and victims themselves) can get in a medical malpractice case. If this passes, it will result in more medical malpractice occurring. You can help stop this by writing to your Congressmen. And please share this with anyone and everyone you know. Here's where you can contact them.
Please do it now:
Read more from US News with this link.
This information is shared with you by Tom Burcham Attorney at Law. If you or a loved has been the victim of medical negligence contact Tom Burcham today. We will hold those that are negligent accountable.
This article is brought to you by Tom Burcham.
The article is written by: Steve Sternberg, as seen on usnews.com
Nursing home abuse is, unfortunately, something much more prevalent today than it should be. This type of abuse is not uncommon as reports of physical abuse continue to roll in year after year. Many times, we find that the nursing home will try and cover up these types of things, case in point, 75-year-old Helen Love. According to a two-year tracking study by the Investigation Division of the House Government Reform Committee of US nursing homes, an astonishing 1 in every 3 facilities had reports of sexual, physical, or verbal abuse, or neglect likely to cause serious harm to the patients. Since this abuse can be hard to track because the facility might try to downplay the severity, it’s important that these elderly victims have proper advocates that are concerned for their wellbeing.
If you or a loved one has been injured by the negligence of another, you have the right to legal representation. Tom Burcham has been fighting to hold accountable those who cause personal injury. He has won countless multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements on behalf of his clients. Contact Tom today to discuss your problem. There is no fee, until Tom wins for you. Call 573.756.5014 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out our confidential online form.
Lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson have stated that the company continued to market power that included talc, even after they had known the connection between ovarian cancer and genital talcum use. Many women have used their powder for decades did so under the guise of its safety for their feminine hygiene. The lawsuit goes on to accuse Johnson & Johnson Baby of failing to warn women of the increased risk of ovarian cancer, putting their own profits from sales ahead of the health of their customers. As a result, personal injury lawsuits by women with ovarian cancer who used baby powder with talc are rapidly increasing as the knowledge of the lawsuit spreads.
If you or a loved one has been injured by toxic materials, you have the right to legal representation. Tom Burcham has been fighting to hold accountable those who cause harm because of negligence. He has won countless multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements on behalf of his clients. Contact Tom today to discuss your problem. There is no fee, until Tom wins for you. Call 573.756.5014 or email email@example.com or fill out our confidential online form.
Toxic tort attorney Tom Burcham shares insight into diacetyl, popcorn lung, vaping, inhalation in factories, and how this creates major lung damage.
Below is an article discussing diacetyl and acetyl propionyl. While the focus of the article is on vaping, the discussion on factory workers is who inhale diacetyl daily is key. Depending on an individual you may have symptoms within months while others develop them after years of exposure. Inhaling this toxic chemical is dangerous. If you have worked in a factory with this chemical and have inhaled it you need to contact Tom Burcham today, you may be eligible for monetary compensation. Call Tom at 573-756-5014 or email him via the online form.
Two prominent Vapestore businesses have recently removed from sale e-liquids they have found to contain “unacceptable levels” of diacetyl and or acetyl propionyl (DA/AP).
This really is the e-cig industry’s zombie issue. It keeps coming back year after year, but never resolved. And it’s a complex one which divides opinion. In this piece, I’m not looking to hash out the rights or wrongs of the companies involved in the latest sagas or to talk about the particulars of these cases, but to draw out some of the perspectives that mean this issue may never be fully resolved.
What are Diacetyl and Acetyl Propionyl?
DA/AP are compounds of the diketone class. DA, in particular, exists widely in nature, and is responsible for the buttery taste of many foods and beverages. It’s absolutely safe to eat or drink, but inhalation is known to be problematic. A number of cases of “Bronchiolitis Obliterans” in popcorn factory workers exposed to DA led authorities to create very strict limits to the amount of DA that workers may be exposed to. It has since been discovered in workers in other manufacturing plants. Bronchiolitis Obliterans is a condition in which irreversible scarring to the lungs is produced, in serious cases requiring lung-transplants. Ironically, the only other known causes of Bronchiolitis Obliterans is lung transplants themselves.
Acetyl Propionyl has a very similar taste profile to DA, and it appears many manufacturers may have chosen to use it in e-liquid as a replacement for Diacetyl in the mistaken belief that AP is safe or safer. There’s ample reason to assume that AP has almost exactly the same safety profile as DA.
Athletic 35-year-old men who have never touched cigarettes are not supposed to come down with a debilitating lung disease usually linked to smoking.
But Seth Ellingsworth of West Richland, Washington, says he got sick in an instant last year, when he briefly inhaled a strange odor at his job at the nearby Hanford Nuclear Site.
"I started having breathing problems," said Ellingsworth, "and it hasn't gone away since."
The father of four, who has reactive airway disease and is now unable to work, wore a nebulizer mask and gasped for air as he showed NBC News all the medicines he's forced to take. "This is a corticosteroid. This is pill I take, it's Ferlucast. This is prednisone. This is a bronchodilator."
Seventy years ago, the Hanford Site produced plutonium for America's nuclear arsenal. Today, it's run by the Department of Energy through its contractor, Washington River Protection Solutions. The contractor is managing a $110 billion cleanup of 56 million gallons of chemical and nuclear waste, stored in 177 underground tanks — a task that's expected to last the next 50 years.
But the tanks are leaking, and the vapors they emit contain toxic and radioactive chemicals known to cause cancer as well as brain and lung damage. Just this year, 61 workers have been exposed, and some nuclear experts have called Hanford "the most toxic place in America" and "an underground Chernobyl waiting to happen."
The DOE has acknowledged in nearly 20 studies conducted over the past 24 years that there is a safety risk to workers at Hanford. Just two years ago, a report found toxins in the air "far exceeding occupational limits" and a "causal link" between vapor exposure and lung and brain damage. The DOE has also said that the site "cannot effectively control" dangers and gives workers "no warning."
But critics say the DOE still isn't doing enough to act on its own findings, and continues to put workers at risk.
Local neuropsychologist Brian Campbell says he has evaluated 29 people at Hanford with both respiratory and cognitive symptoms, including "some of the worst cases of dementia that I've seen in young people, which we do not anticipate."
Dr. Campbell said the DOE doesn't want to acknowledge the injuries. "More likely than not," said Campbell, "I think it's caused by the exposure they had at Hanford."
When NBC News put out a call for current and former Hanford workers who believe they were exposed to toxic materials, more than 20 volunteered to talk to us. Eleven of them sat down with NBC News for a group interview.
Diana Gegg was one of several former workers who said they have dementia: "I have shaking on the right side of my body."
Lonny Poteat said he had been diagnosed with "pretty bad" nerve damage. "Sometimes the pain gets so great," said Poteat, "I just pass out."
Mario Diaz said he was losing his memory and struggling to breathe, and became emotional when he said he's no longer able to do things with his family.
"The worst part is showing up for work out there and getting pasted because they didn't tell us," said Diaz. "They weren't forthright in sharing what they know."
The workers told us that "over and over," the Department of Energy and the contractor on site told them the readings for harmful materials were safe.
"We're told daily that it's safe," said a man who currently works at Hanford. "[That] there's nothing to worry about."
"They're a bunch of liars," said a female employee.
Former workers also said that in the past they were almost never allowed to opt for protective gear, like the oxygen masks recommended by the DOE itself.
"They wouldn't let you have it," alleged a former worker.
Several told us they were discouraged from seeking safety equipment, and threatened with losing work if they insisted.
The DOE says it has no tolerance for retaliation.
The Hanford Challenge, a local watchdog group, says that at least three deaths have a documented link to exposure at Hanford, including Gary Sall's.
Sall died in 2011 after descending into dementia, which was diagnosed as "work-related."
Some Washington state officials are now intervening, including Lt. Gov. Cyrus Habib, who has pledged to investigate and called the federal government's response "an absolute scandal."
"When you think about the risk not only to workers but also to our water supply," Habib told NBC News, "it's like a Stephen King novel. This is something that I think everyone in the country should be thinking about."
Attorney General Bob Ferguson is taking an even more unusual step — suing the federal government.
Said Ferguson, "They've known for decades. It's been going on year after year, report after report.
Ferguson said he considered the federal government's lack of action "unforgivable."
"And to be candid, they have to live with themselves on that," said Ferguson. "I ask the question all the time, 'How many more workers have to get sick at Hanford before they do something about it? How many?' Please ask them. I really want to know."
NBC News asked a DOE official that very question during a visit to Hanford. The DOE granted us rare access to the highly restricted site, and an interview with Deputy Assistant Secretary Mark Whitney.
Whitney, who has since left the DOE for the private sector, said that all Hanford workers who have been referred to medical evaluation to date have been returned to work.
NBC noted that many workers who have not returned to work are seriously, even terminally ill, and asked Whitney if the DOE maintains that these illnesses are not related to on-the-job exposures.
"I wish we had a more complete understanding of those circumstances," said Whitney. "A lot of effort the last couple years has gone into strengthening our efforts to deal with the potential vapor exposure issue."
NBC then showed Whitney a copy of Diana Gegg's medical assessment, in which doctors say her serious, possibly terminal illnesses are a direct result of her exposure at Hanford, and asked him for comment.
Said Whitney, "I'm not a medical professional and can't provide a qualified medical opinion."
Whitney says the DOE is "strengthening communication" with Hanford workers, and in 2016 invested $50 million in improving air monitoring.
At Hanford, however, a subcontractor who was monitoring the air next to a set of waste tanks refused to tell NBC News what kind of readings he was getting.
"Sorry, but I'm not allowed to discuss that," said the subcontractor.
Whitney said the DOE has taken more than 170,000 measurements of the breathing zones in Hanford's tank farms, and never found measurements higher than the permitted occupational exposure limits.
NBC, however, has documents showing DOE readings from Hanford in 2009 that are far in excess of occupational limits. Mercury was measured at 473 percent above limits, and ammonia was measured at 1800 percent above limits — and workers were not told.
"I'm not aware of what workers were told or were not or those readings," said Whitney. "Potentially those measurements were taken at the top of a 20 or 40-foot stack where workers would not be."
But a DOE study from 2014 found a significant risk of dangerous exposure at that distance from the source of vapor. "Clearly, almost 30 percent of this concentration ... might by highly irritating even under very brief exposures occurring over 30 feet from the source."
Susannah Frame, investigative reporter at Seattle NBC affiliate KING, says the risk goes beyond workers at the site, and includes the risk that a tank could explode and contaminate a large area. That risk was originally raised by a government nuclear board.
If you will meet personal injury attorneys LA without doing your own homework, your meeting might prove to be a little intimidating. But always remember that all the attorneys are there to help you and to protect your rights as well as your interests. So just keep your head cool, say goodbye to any of your hesitation and conduct your own investigation before you decide upon hiring any specific LA personal injury attorney. There are few very important and imperative questions which should be asked to any lawyer who claims to be dealing with personal injury cases.
How many personal injury cases do you handle on an average?
Many of you might be thinking that what this question’s significance is. In fact, let me make it very clear that most of the lawyers who claim that they are handling personal injury cases are exactly not handling these cases by themselves and when any such cases arrives in their office, they refer it to some other lawyer. So whenever you get an appointment with your advocate, ask this question and make it clear that is he going to handle your case by himself or is he planning to refer it to someone else?
How strong my case is?
Any qualified and experienced legal professional will take a close look at your case, analyze it thoroughly and will let you know that how strong your case is. Is it worth filing a lawsuit against the offender? Will it bring appropriate amount of compensation for you.
How much approximate time will you take in resolving a case like mine?
Every personal injury lawyer in Los Angeles has got his own style of dealing with cases. Some of them work very fast while others work in a slow speed. However it is not necessary that those working fast will always prove to be better solicitors. In fact, holding out longer on a case indicates more chances of getting better and appropriate compensatory amount. But the second option works only when your legal professional works regularly on your case. That’s why you should know the approximate time that will be required for resolving your case.
Do you charge any sort of hidden costs other than your regular fee?
This question is also very important as everything about the payment’s terms and conditions need to be clarified before you hire injury lawyers in Los Angeles. Ask your advocates that what is their procedure of charging fee? If they are charging the payment on contingency basis the exact percentage should be known by you so that no issues arise later. In general, this contingency fee percentage is 33 percent and 50 percent.