Thursday, 27 September 2007

Congress votes to limit 'popcorn lung' chemical exposure

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After the recent "popcorn lung" incident was discovered, the U.S. Congress acted this week to limit the exposure to workers who are employed at plants that produce microwave (and other) popcorn, citing exposure to diacetyl. Diacetyl is a common butter flavoring used on many butter-flavored popcorn products.

Stating that further delays could cost lives, Congress dismissed OSHA's non-stance on safe exposure levels of diacetyl, while the Republicans in the U.S. House hastened the move as being "premature."

Although diacetyl is found naturally in many foods (cheese and butter, for example), the concentrations inhaled by popcorn factory workers have been blamed for lawsuits claiming illness due to bronchiolitis obliterans -- otherwise known as "popcorn lung."

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