Flavoring Workers' Lung (Popcorn/Diacetyl)

Category archives for Flavoring Workers’ Lung (Popcorn/Diacetyl)

OSHA’s small biz list for diacetyl rule

Labor Secretary Solis announced today the next step in OSHA’s effort to propose a rule to protect workers exposed to the butter-flavoring agent diacetyl.  The Small Business Administration and OSHA identified 13 “small-entity representatives” (SERs, defined by SBA as companies with 500 or fewer employees nationwide) to serve on the panel which allows them to review the…

Popcorn Lung Becomes Butterscotch Lung

The lung disease bronchiolitis obliterans came to be called “popcorn workers lung” because this once-rare disease started afflicting workers from microwave popcorn plants with an alarming frequency. Scientists traced the disease, which destroys sufferers’ lungs, to the butter-flavoring chemical diacetyl. Two unions petitioned the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to issue an emergency temporary standard…

OSHA’s New Direction on Diacetyl

With an announcement today in the Federal Register, Labor Secretary Solis’ OSHA is moving in a new direction to address occupational exposure to diacetyl.  The butter-flavoring agent is associated with respiratory harm, including bronchiolitis obliterans.  Just six days ago, Ronald Kuiper, 69, a former American Pop Corn Co succumbed to the disease. OSHA announced it is withdrawing the advanced notice…

OSHA Sends Diacetyl Document to OMB

[See update at end of post] The OMB website which lists those rules currently under review by OIRA has a new item today: something from OSHA on Diacetyl.   (See this screenshot for the OMB listing, and this reference to the rule on Regs.gov.)  You’ll recall this is the butter-flavoring agent associated with severe respiratory disease in exposed workers, including individuals working in microwave…

Popcorn Lung Roadhouse Blues

TO:   All worker health and safety advocates, seekers of justice and protections for working people, and friends of healthy work environments:   The American Public Health Association’s (APHA) OHS Section has not, and will not, forget about the deadly and disabling illnesses caused by workplace exposure to the butter flavoring agent diacetyl.  Our solidarity with workers is demonstrated through our scientific research, teaching and policy…

Senators Press OSHA on Diacetyl

Four U.S. Senators have written to Labor Secretary Chao and OSHA Asst. Secretary Foulke expressing serious concern that “OSHA has failed to make significant progress in addressing the continuing hazards” of diacetyl.  They asked for a response by October 8 to four simple questions, including a list of inspections conducted as part of OSHA’s national emphasis…

Popcorn Lawsuits and a Weak Regulatory System

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer’s Andrew Schneider reports on another lawsuit from a consumer who says his lungs have been damaged by years of microwave popcorn consumption. The most famous microwave-popcorn consumer, Wayne Watson of Denver, filed suit earlier this year. Watson drew national attention after he was diagnosed with bronchiolitis obliterans, a disease previously found only…

Back in December, Andrew Schneider reported in the Seattle PI that the use of diacetyl-containing cooking oils could be putting professional cooks at risk for the same severe lung disease that’s struck workers in microwave-popcorn and flavor factories. After his article came out, the Unite-Here union requested an investigation from NIOSH (the National Institute for Occupational Safety…

Diacetyl Still Around, Still a Problem

Diacetyl – the butter-flavoring chemical linked to severe lung disease in food and flavoring workers – hasn’t been in the news much recently. It got a lot of attention in September, when we drew attention to the case of a Colorado man who appeared to have developed bronciolitis obliterans from eating microwave popcorn twice a…

Last month, Andrew Schneider reported in the Seattle PI that the use of diacetyl-containing cooking oils could be putting professional cooks at risk for the same severe lung disease that’s struck workers in microwave-popcorn and flavor factories. Now, Schneider brings us news that the UNITE HERE union is urging manufacturers to remove diacetyl from cooking…