Flavoring-Related Lung Disease - Information for Healthcare Providers


November 2011
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication Number 2012-107

Note: This publication has been superceded by 2012-148

Manual cover for 2012-107

Severe obstructive lung disease has been identified in people who work with flavoring chemicals containing diacetyl, including butter flavoring. Cases of severe lung disease have occurred in microwave popcorn plants and flavoring production plants. Lung biopsies in some affected people have shown the presence of a rare condition; constrictive bronchiolitis obliterans (also referred to as constrictive bronchiolitis, obliterative bronchiolitis, and bronchiolitis obliterans). In some workers, fixed airways obstruction has been severe enough to be fatal.

Page last reviewed: June 6, 2014