Lung disease linked to flavoring chemical

May 07, 2007

Politicians and health workers in the United States are pushing for a bill to ban the use of a food flavoring chemical that has been linked to lung disease.

The Washington Post reported on a growing group of California food-flavoring workers who have been diagnosed with bronchiolitis obliterans, a rare and life-threatening form of fixed obstructive lung disease. The disease, also known as popcorn workers lung, slowly eliminates lung capacity.

A transplant is reportedly the only cure.

The Post reported that since 2001, academic studies have linked the disease with an artificial butter flavoring called diacetyl, often used in microwave popcorn flavoring plants. Flavoring manufacturers have paid out more than $100 million in lawsuits from workers who have gotten sick with lung ailments during the past five years.

One death from popcorn workers lung has been confirmed. Politicians and health care workers are pushing for a ban on diacetyl.

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration has been criticized for being slow in acting on the issue. Because of this, California Assemblywoman Sally Lieber has introduced a bill to ban the use of diacetyl.

The Post reported that most people infected with popcorn workers lung are young Latinos with no history of smoking.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

Explore further: Reported link between early life exposure to paracetamol and asthma 'overstated'

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Ebola isolation at US base 'pretty much vacation'

15 hours ago

With plenty of flat screen TVs, game nights and even an outdoor fire pit, life in isolation for members of the U.S. military who have returned from the Ebola mission in West Africa can look a lot like summer ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.