Friday, February 5, 2016

E-Cigarettes & Diacetyl: The Concern About Popcorn Lung

What Is Diacetyl & Why Is It Used?
Diacetyl is found in many of the products we consume every day. It occurs naturally in the foods we eat such as butter, vinegar and honey. It’s also produced during the fermentation process and is present in alcoholic beverages and foods like cheese. Diacetyl carries an intense buttery flavor and is commonly used as a food flavoring. It is classified as “Generally Recognized as Safe” (GRAS) by the FDA.

The Cause for Concern – Popcorn Lung
The potential hazard associated with diacetyl comes from inhaling it, not ingesting it. The reason diacetyl has become a health concern is a rare outbreak of the disease called bronchiolitis obliterans in the late 1990s. Also referred to as “popcorn lung,” it received the infamous name due to its association with a microwave popcorn plant. Over the course of several years, workers at the factory became sick with asthma and cold-like symptoms, which eventually worsened. As their symptoms advanced, a number of workers were ultimately diagnosed with this disease.