Diacetyl is the chemical compound produced by yeast when it ferments, but it is also synthetically created by companies to use as an artificial food additive. Synthetic diacetyl is considered safe when ingested, but can be hazardous when inhaled. Diacetyl has been linked to respiratory illnesses, including “popcorn lung,” formally known as obliterative bronchiolitis.
Uses of Diacetyl
Diacetyl, while no longer prevalent in the food industry, it is a common ingredient in electronic cigarette inserts and pet food. Since the e-cigarette industry doesn’t require companies to warn consumers if a product contains Diacetyl, smokers are exposed to the substance without knowing the risks. Additionally, those who are involved in manufacturing pet food are exposed to Diacetyl and have been found to have health problems consistent with exposure to it.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has stated that the consumption of Diacetyl is safe in small amounts, but inhalation of Diacetyl can lead to the buildup of scar tissue in the lungs, obstructing airflow and damaging the lungs. Diacetyl can also affect the eyes, nose, throat and skin depending on the amount of exposure.
Formally known as bronchiolitis obliterans, popcorn lung is a serious, non-reversible lung disease where the bronchioles of the lungs are blocked by tissue growth. The growths cause inflammation in the lungs resulting in scars and hardening of the tissue and airway obstruction. Symptoms include a dry cough, shortness of breath, fatigue and wheezing.
Diagnosing popcorn lung is difficult and often requires x-rays and CT scans, but an open lung biopsy is the only definitive test. An open lung biopsy requires a portion of the lung to be removed and studied.
Popcorn lung isn’t reversible, but some treatments are available to provide symptom relief. These include steroids to reduce inflammation and inhaled cyclosporine, which can help sufferers get air out of their lungs, reducing the amount of air trapped and increasing the lungs’ capacity.
If you or a family member has been diagnosed with a medical condition as a result of Diacetyl, you may have a claim for compensation. Call 877-341-2595 or send us an email for your free consultation.
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