We are currently investigating reports of a rare lung disease called bronchiolitis obliterans (popcorn lung) caused by exposure to diacetyl. Diacetyl-induced popcorn lung occurs most frequently amongst workers in the flavor industry who either heat diacetyl or mix flavorings containing diacetyl.
In one case, we represent workers of a coffee manufacturing plant in a suit against the flavoring companies that supplied their employer with diacetyl-containing products. These workers were exposed to diacetyl when they mixed flavoring agents with coffee beans during the flavoring process. Sadly, several of these workers were recently diagnosed with bronchiolitis obliterans caused by their exposure to diacetyl.
WHAT IS DIACETYL AND WHERE IS IT FOUND?
Diacetyl is a chemical used to give various food products a buttery flavor. Its use is especially common in popcorn and coffee manufacturing plants. Although there have been a few instances where consumers were harmed by diacetyl exposure, it is very rare for consumers to encounter toxic levels of diacetyl.
HOW CAN DIACETYL HURT ME?
Symptoms of popcorn lung include dry cough, shortness of breath, and wheezing. Unfortunately, these symptoms can become disabling. Treatment often requires a lung transplant. The disease itself is life-threatening and non-reversible.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I SUSPECT I MAY BE SUFFERING FROM A DIACETYL-RELATED CONDITION?
Speak to a doctor as soon as possible about your symptoms and exposure to diacetyl. To assure your continued health, additional testing and monitoring may be necessary.
WE WANT TO HELP
Roberts & Roberts wants to help if you or a loved one believe you may have been harmed by exposure to diacetyl. Contact us today for a free consultation.