Speaker Jackie Simmons and J.D. Vora (Robertet).
The team from FONA following the morning’s presentation.
Paige Crist (P&F magazine), Serhan Rende (Carmi Flavors) and
Cyndie Lipka (Sethness Greenleaf).
material is irritating to mucous membranes and the
upper respiratory tract. The exposure limits cited by
OSHA’s website are as follows:
VOL. 35 OCTOBER 2010
The current Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) permissible exposure limit (PEL)
for furfural is 5 ppm ( 20 milligrams per cubic meter
(mg/m( 3))) as an 8-hour time-weighted average
(TWA) concentration. The OSHA PEL also bears a
“skin” notation, which indicates that the cutaneous
route of exposure (including mucous membranes
and eyes) contributes to overall exposure [ 29 CFR
1910.1000, Table Z- 1].
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and
Health has not established a recommended exposure limit for furfural.
The American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) has assigned furfural a
threshold limit value (TLV) of 2 ppm ( 7. 9 mg/m( 3))
as a TWA for a normal 8-hour workday and a 40-hour
workweek. The ACGIH also assigns a “skin” notation
to furfural [ACGIH 1994, p. 22].
“I can tell you that a plaintiff’s attorney would turn
that around and say [to a manufacturer], ‘See, you knew
when you put that into your flavor … that it was going to
cause problems because you knew every human being has
mucous membranes and that this was toxic and that the
[threshold limit value] was at 2 ppm,” said Simmons. She
acknowledged that she did not agree with such an asser-
tion and that this is obviously a frustrating issue for the
industry. Despite the ready availability of technical and
safety data on flavor materials, said Simmons, potential
plaintiff claims are a dangerous prospect that companies
must be prepared to defend against. For these reasons, she
said, companies require additional tools to amend MSDS
and enhance educational outreach and depth of data for
customers and workers using flavors and flavor materials.