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Diacetyl associated with wide range of lung diseasess in popcorn flavourers

Diacetyl associated with wide range of lung diseasess in popcorn flavourers
This is a re-analysis of workers exposed to diacetyl in 9 popcorn and flavouring factories studied by NIOSH in the USA. It shows a wide spectrum of disease much greater than the biopsy proven bronchiolitis obliterans which has been associated with diacetyl exposure. 20% of current employees mean age 36 had abnormal spirometry, and 3.7% a FEV1 <60% predicted despite short exposures. Those biopsied showed other histologies including granuloma and fibrosis, and restrictive spirometry was common. This shows that we should consider diacetyl exposure when assessing any workers with unexplained cough or breathlessness. One wonders why diacetyl is still used as a butter substitute.

References

Abstract Available for Burden of respiratory abnormalities in microwave popcorn and flavouring manufacturing workers. Fechter-Leggett ED, White SK, Fedan KB, Cox-Ganser JM, Cummings KJ., Burden of respiratory abnormalities in microwave popcorn and flavouring manufacturing workers., Occup Environ Med, 2018;:,10.1136/oemed-2018-105150

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