Dozens of workers around the country have developed the debilitating lung disease bronchiolitis obliterans, also known as “popcorn workers lung,” and other respiratory illnesses from exposure to vapors from diacetyl, a component of artificial butter flavor used in microwave popcorn and many other food products.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) conducted several studies that confirmed the link between occupational exposure to artificial butter flavoring and lung diseases. In 2000 they issued recommendations to a Missouri microwave popcorn plant about protecting workers from this hazard, and in 2003 they sent an alert recommending safeguards to 4,000 businesses that might use or make butter flavoring.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which has the authority to regulate workplace hazards, has failed to turn these findings and recommendations into regulation that would protect workers in facilities using diacetyl.
On July 26th, 2006, the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters petitioned OSHA to issue an emergency temporary standard to protect workers from diacetyl and to begin the process of protecting workers from other hazardous flavoring chemicals. Unions also petitioned Cal-OSHA (the state equivalent of the federal agency) to take these steps.
SKAPP also asked the Environmental Protection Agency to release the results of its study on consumer exposure to diacetyl vapors released from microwave popcorn bags, and petitioned the Food and Drug Administration to revoke diacetyl’s “generally regarded as safe” (GRAS) status. FDA responded that that the agency had not reached a decision on the petition “because of the limited availability of resources and other agency priorities.”
In August of 2006, UFCW, Western States Council, and the California Labor Federation petitioned Cal/OSHA to adopt an emergency temporary standard for diacetyl in California. SKAPP Director David Michaels wrote a letter about the toxicity of diacetyl for inclusion in Cal/OSHA’s record.
If you or a family member has been personally injured because of the fault of someone else: by the use of dangerous drugs, bad products, or toxic injury etc then please contact the Fort Worth Texas Defective Drugs Product Liability Attorney Dr. Shezad Malik. For a no obligation, free case analysis, please call 817-255-4001 or Contact Me Online.
The Dr. Shezad Malik Law is currently evaluating and accepting Diacetyl Induced Popcorn Workers Lung cases.