Diacetyl

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Breaking Diacetyl News!

September 5, 2007:
An Associated Press article on September 5, 2007 reported that recent warnings to popcorn factory workers about the dangers of developing bronchiolitis obliterans, a serious lung disease, have now been extended to consumers. The disease is thought to be cause by exposure to diacetyl, a chemical used in the buttery flavoring of microwave popcorn.

A pulmonary specialist at the National Jewish Medical and Research Center in Denver wrote to federal agencies indicating that doctors there believe they have a patient who developed lung disease from the fumes of microwaving popcorn several times a day for years.


On May 7, 2007, the Washington Post reported on a California woman that worked in a microwave popcorn flavoring plan that developed bronchiolitis obliterans, a potentially life-threatening type of obstructive lung disease that totally destroys the lungs. It is rare in the general public, but fairly common in microwave-popcorn factory workers. In fact, since 2002, flavoring manufacturers have paid off more than $100 million to popcorn workers with lung diseases, and at least one person has died due to diacetyl.

The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health, or Cal/OSHA, has monitored popcorn plant workers in the 29 popcorn flavoring plants in the state for breathing trouble since 2005, and has found eight workers with fixed obstructive lung disease such as bronchiolitis obliterans as well as 22 workers with below-average lung capacity, which many doctors believe is the first step towards bronchiolitis obliterans.

If you have ever cooked a bag of microwave popcorn you will have most likely come into contact with the product diacetyl. Diacetyl is a chemical that is put in the butter flavoring of microwave popcorn. The downside is that diacetyl has been linked with some adverse side effects and health conditions. The National institute for Occupational Safety and Health found cases of severe lung disease in workers at factories that produce microwave popcorn. There were also similar findings when rats were exposed to the fumes of diacetyl. Several other workers reported problems with asthma, bronchitis emphysema and other chronic lung illnesses. Some illnesses that are permanently damaging to the lungs and can threaten life. The purpose of this article is to answer some of the most frequently asked questions regarding diacetyl and inform you of your rights should you have been harmed by this chemical.

Is eating the butter flavoring dangerous?
Only to your waistline. No, it is the fumes of diacetyl that are harmful. The factory workers are exposed to these fumes in large quantities for long periods of time, so they are the most vulnerable to the lung problems.

Is it just the workers in the factories of microwave popcorn?
No, diacetyl is in butter flavoring which is in a variety of snacks. Workers in these factories are reporting illnesses as well.

How dangerous are the diseases caused by diacetyl?
There is quite a wide range. Bronchitis will make you miserable but is fairly harmless. However, emphysema and cancer are potentially life threatening.

What can I do if I have been injured due to diacetyl?
The best thing to do would be to seek legal advice from our personal injury diacetyl lawyers. They will be best able to advise you on your rights and what forms of compensation you can expect. If you have incurred medical costs or lost wages due to missed work or have suffered physically you could claim monetary damages.

Diacetyl posed a dangerous threat to those exposed to it over long periods of time. If you have suffered because of diacetyl then get legal advice from our dedicated and experienced attorneys. It will be worth it.

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Diacetyl fumes are known to cause lung problems. If you were exposed to Diacetyl contact us today for a free case review. Page updated 5/8/2007