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3 Flavoring Suspected in Illness

3 Flavoring Suspected in Illness - Flavoring Suspected in...

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Flavoring Suspected in Illness Calif. Considers Banning Chemical Used in Microwave Popcorn By Sonya Geis Washington Post Staff Writer Monday, May 7, 2007; A03 SOUTH GATE, Calif. -- She was once in constant motion; her co-workers compared her to a roadrunner because of the way she darted around the workplace. But now Irma Ortiz sits at the edge of her couch, too winded to sweep her patio or walk her son to school without resting. She is slowly suffocating. Ortiz, 44, is among a group of California food-flavoring workers recently diagnosed with bronchiolitis obliterans, a rare and life-threatening form of fixed obstructive lung disease. Also known as popcorn workers lung, because it has turned up in workers at microwave-popcorn factories, the disease destroys the lungs. A transplant is the only cure. Since 2001, academic studies have shown links between the disease and a chemical used in artificial butter flavor called diacetyl. Flavoring manufacturers have paid out more than $100 million as a result of lawsuits by people sick with popcorn workers lung over the past five years. One death from the disease has been confirmed.
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  • Fall '07
  • Unknown
  • Occupational safety and health, obstructive lung disease, Bronchiolitis obliterans, Irma Ortiz, popcorn workers lung

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