NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search
Severe occupational lung disease from exposure to flavoring chemicals.
Am Fam Phys 2009 Jan; 79(2):87
When it comes to occupational lung disease, most physicians are familiar with well-known risks such as long-term exposure to asbestos or coal dust. However, occupational exposures may be responsible for approximately 15 percent of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and adult asthma cases. In addition, new occupational risks continue to emerge as industry develops new products and uses new chemicals and production processes. Bronchiolitis obliterans in workers with inhalation exposure to butter flavoring chemicals is an example of the new type of hazard. Since 2000, workers at many microwave popcorn plants and flavoring manufacturing plants have been seriously affected. Butter flavorings are used in many other foods, such as snack cakes, cookies, pretzels, candy, and dairy products. Restaurant cooks use butter-flavored vegetable oil products to prepare meals. The magnitude of the risk to workers exposed in these settings is currently unknown. Identification by a physician of a possible job-related illness at the worksite can facilitate prevention efforts.
Respiratory-system-disorders; Lung-disorders; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Bronchial-asthma; Chemical-processing; Food-additives; Food-processing-workers; Food-handlers; Spirometry; Airway-obstruction; Physicians; Worker-health; Lung-function; Occupational-diseases; Occupational-exposure; Disease-prevention
Issue of Publication
American Family Physician
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division