Monday, May 7, 2007

Microwave Popcorn chemicals may cause irreversible lung damage

That comforting smell of a newly microwaved bag of extra buttery movie theater popcorn may conceal a serious danger: bronchiolitis obliterans, also known as "popcorn workers lung." According to this article, studies have linked the chemicals used to make the popcorn "butter" with the disease, and the companies producing the flavoring "have paid out more than $100 million as a result of lawsuits by people sick with popcorn workers lung over the past five years. One death from the disease has been confirmed." The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health issued an alert for the handling of these flavoring agents, and identified cases of popcorn workers lung back to 1992. Despite these facts, OSHA has established no standards for the flavoring's use. Think about that the next time you stick your nose into a newly popped bag of Orville Redenbacher's. I googled "popcorn workers lung" and over 11,000 hits came up, including, a law firm providing services "[i]f you have developed an injury or disease due to working with artificial butter flavoring."