Models of toxicity of diacetyl and alternative diones.
Diacetyl (DA; 2,3-butanedione), with the chemical formula (CH3CO)2 is a volatile organic compound with a deep yellow color and a strong buttery flavor and aroma. These properties have made DA a particularly useful and common food flavoring ingredient. However, because of this increased occupational use, workers can be exposed to high vapor concentrations in the workplace. Despite being listed by the USFDA to be 'generally regarded as safe' (GRAS), multiple lines of evidence suggest that exposure to high concentrations of DA vapor causes long-term impairments in lung function with lung function testing indicating evidence of either restrictive or obstructive airway narrowing in affected individuals. A growing number of pre-clinical studies have now addressed the short and long-term toxicity associated with DA exposure providing further insight into the toxicity of DA and related diones. This review summarizes these observations.
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