WASHINGTON — The Occupational Safety and Health Administration of the U.S. Department of Labor will hold a Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act panel on May 5 to discuss a draft proposed rule on exposure to diacetyl and food flavors containing diacetyl.

"The goal of the process is to develop recommendations designed to assure accuracy of supporting analyses and to identify alternatives that may reduce the burden on small businesses," said Hilda L. Solis, secretary of labor. "I am alarmed that workers exposed to food flavorings containing diacetyl may continue to be at risk of developing a potentially fatal lung disease. Exposure to this harmful chemical already has been linked to the deaths of at least three workers. These deaths are preventable, and it is imperative the Labor Department move quickly to address these hazards."

The SBREFA allows small businesses potentially affected by a proposed rule to review the rule and provide comments before an agency publishes it in the Federal Register.