Lung disease linked to flavoring chemical

May 7, 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: Researchers uncover protein-based 'cancer signature'

Related Stories

Researchers uncover protein-based 'cancer signature'

December 5, 2016

A research team at the University of Basel's Biozentrum has investigated the expression of ribosomal proteins in a wide range of human tissues including tumors and discovered a cancer type specific signature. As the researchers ...

Can you smell through your lungs?

November 3, 2016

It was always thought that olfactory receptors' sole bodily function was to smell, and could only be found inside a nose. But now a new study, published in Frontiers in Physiology, has found two olfactory receptors in human ...

Omega-3 fatty acid stops known trigger of lupus

September 29, 2016

A team of Michigan State University researchers has found that consuming an omega-3 fatty acid called DHA, or docosahexaenoic acid, can stop a known trigger of lupus and potentially other autoimmune disorders.

Immunotherapy a hot topic in treating cancers

September 15, 2016

Last Friday was Rebecca Hertzog Burns' birthday. She turned 2. She says that's her age, though she's really 27. After a relapse in her fight with acute myelogenous leukemia, Burns received a stem cell transplant on Sept. ...

Recommended for you

Raising the curtain on cerebral malaria's deadly agents

December 6, 2016

Using state-of-the-art brain imaging technology, scientists at the National Institutes of Health filmed what happens in the brains of mice that developed cerebral malaria (CM). The results, published in PLOS Pathogens, reveal ...

0 comments

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.