Monday, April 20, 2009

Bad Popcorn

Popcorn We reported, almost exactly two years ago, here and here about how employees manufacturing microwave popcorn are at risk for developing a severe lung disease from diacetyl.  An article in yesterday's Cincinnati Enquirer indicates that Cincinnati has become the epicenter of popcorn-worker lawsuits, because many of the affected employees work at plants in nearby Marion and Carthage, Ohio.  The former is owned by ConAgra, manufacturer of the popcorn pictured at left.  The article explains:

The Givaudan plant in Carthage supplied [ConAgra] with butter flavoring, a product made with the chemical diacetyl. Breathing vapors from diacetyl and from the butter flavoring itself, can cause a severe lung injury called bronchiolitis obliterans. The disease is just what it sounds like: the smallest airways of the lungs, the bronchioli, are blocked, or obliterated, through scarring and inflammation. It can be disabling and even fatal.


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