Flavoring Workers' Lung (Popcorn/Diacetyl)

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

Is OSHA Trying to Snooker Congress?

By David Michaels Days before the House will vote on legislation to force OSHA to regulate diacetyl (the artificial butter flavor chemical that causes bronchiolitis obliterans), the agency has apparently decided that perhaps it is finally time to begin the rulemaking process for this substance. Yesterday, fourteen months after we petitioned OSHA for an emergency…

By Liz Borkowski  As David Michaels reported yesterday, the Popcorn Workers Lung Disease Prevention Act will come up for a vote in the House some time this week. The legislation will force OSHA to issue a standard that will minimize workers’ exposure to diacetyl, the butter flavoring chemical that’s been causing severe, irreversible lung disease…

House to Vote on Popcorn Workers Lung Act

By David Michaels Later this week, the House of Representatives will vote on H.R. 2693 — The Popcorn Workers Lung Disease Prevention Act. Now is the moment to let your Member of Congress know how important it is for them to support the legislation. Popcorn Workers Lung is a case study in regulatory failure. As…

California often takes the lead in responding to public health issues, so it’s not surprising that their state legislature was the first to take up a bill to ban the artificial butter flavoring chemical diacetyl from California workplaces by 2010. California is home to 29 flavoring plants, and state health officials have diagnosed several flavoring…

“Popcorn Lung” Media Roundup

Over the past week, several newspapers and wire services have reported on the story we broke here at The Pump Handle about the first reported case of bronchiolitis obliterans in a microwave popcorn consumer – quickly followed by microwave popcorn manufacturers’ announcements about the removal of diacetyl from their products, and by additional calls from…

By David Michaels The popcorn festival has just ended in Marion, Ohio (nickname: “popcorn capital of the world”), attended by more than 100,000 revelers. The Orville Redenbacher Parade is one of the festivals’ highlights. Redenbacher, who developed the hybrid corn strain that pops so uniformly, was actually from Indiana, but ConAgra Foods manufactures the best…

By David Michaels Over a year ago, unions petitioned the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to adopt an emergency temporary standard for diacetyl (PDF). More than 40 leading occupational health physicians and scientists sent a supporting letter (PDF) to Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao summarizing the strong scientific evidence linking exposure to the artificial butter…

By David Michaels Earlier this week, we broke the story of the first case of “popcorn lung” occurring in person whose exposure to diacetyl was not workplace-related. Now more details are coming out, including an interview with Wayne Watson, the Colorado furniture salesman with disease. In today’s AP article, P. Solomon Banda writes that “When…

Occupational Health News Roundup

Workers who manufacture microwave popcorn for ConAgra and Pop Weaver will soon be able to breathe easier, since both companies have announced that they will stop using diacetyl to flavor their popcorn. Other workers – including those who make flavorings, baked goods, and other companies’ microwave popcorn – may still be exposed to the artificial…

Last week, Pop Weaver announced that it was eliminating diacetyl from its microwave popcorn products. Today, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and Associated Press report that ConAgra will remove diacetyl from its Orville Redenbacher and Act II microwave popcorn over the next year. This news comes as David Michaels’s post here about federal agencies’ inadequate response to…