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Thirty workers in Missouri popcorn plant diagnosed with severe, disabling lung disease.
SENSOR Occup Lung Dis Bull 2006 Jun; :1-2
Welcome to the June issue of the SENSOR Occupational Lung Disease Bulletin! In this issue, we focus on the topic of bronchiolitis obliterans, a severe lung disease that can occur in workers that make or handle food flavoring. Bronchiolitis obliterans has been linked to diacetyl, an artificial butter flavoring ingredient. The illness has been called "popcorn lung disease" because of the clusters of workers in popcorn plants that have been diagnosed with the disease. However, workers in plants making food ranging from pastries and frozen food to nacho chips and candy may be exposed to the chemicals in food flavorings, and therefore may be at risk for bronchiolitis obliterans. In addition, workers who use diacetyl to produce artificial flavorings are also at risk. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions about this condition. We would also like to take this opportunity to remind you to report all cases of work-related asthma to our program. Your role as reporter is instrumental in helping us to identify workplace hazards and prevent workers from becoming ill. Each report is carefully reviewed by SENSOR staff and follow-up interviews are conducted with patients. If appropriate, site visits of workplaces may be conducted with patient consent. Please let us know if there is anything we can do to facilitate reporting.
Occupational-diseases; Occupational-health; Lung-disease; Work-environment; Occupational-exposure; Respiratory-system-disorders; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Bronchial-asthma; Employee-exposure; Occupational-respiratory-disease; Health-care; Surveillance-programs; Lung-irritants; Foodstuff; Food-processing-industry; Food-processing-workers; Food-additives; Chemical-processing
Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Occupational Health Surveillance Program, 250 Washington Street, 6th Floor, Boston, MA 02108
SENSOR Occupational Lung Disease Bulletin
Massachusetts State Department of Public Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division