Flavored e-cigarettes and vaping liquids often contain dangerous levels of diacetyl, a flavoring chemical that may lead to severe lung disease when it is inhaled.
Need a Texas Diacetyl Lawyer? Collen A. Clark is a true advocate for his clients and is passionate about helping Texans that have been injured or wronged. If you or a loved one was diagnosed with lung disease, you should contact our lawyers immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a lawsuit in Texas.
What is Diacetyl?
Diacetyl is a flavor chemical that adds a buttery or creamy taste. It is found naturally in many foods, but is also produced artificially on an industrial scale as a cheap flavor-enhancer.
What is the problem?
There are more than 7,000 types of flavored e-cigarettes and vaping liquids on the market. Recent studies have found that most of these products contain diacetyl, and nearly half contain more diacetyl than the “acceptable” daily exposure limit. The problem is that vaping heats diacetyl into tiny particles that can penetrate deep into the lungs. This could potentially increase the risk of lung diseases, such as:
- Popcorn Lung
- Bronchiolitis obliterans
- Fixed airway obstruction
- Chronic bronchitis
- Diseases of the small airway
- And more
Diacetyl and “Popcorn Lung” Disease
Diacetyl is safe to eat and drink in foods, but inhaling it is a risk-factor for the lung disease bronchiolitis obliterans — also known as “Popcorn Lung.” The disease got its nickname after it sickened nearly 200 popcorn factory workers and killed at least three.
Coffee Worker’s Lung Disease
Diacetyl is created naturally when raw coffee beans are roasted. It is safe to drink coffee, but it is hazardous to work in a coffee roasting, grinding, or flavoring factory without good air ventilation. Coffee workers can potentially develop bronchiolitis obliterans after just a few months of exposure. In addition, storage areas where beans are allowed to off-gas in hoppers pose serious risks, according to the CDC.
Symptoms of “Popcorn Lung”
The disease inflames the smallest air-sacs in the lungs and causes scarring, which narrows the airways and makes it hard to breathe. The symptoms of “Popcorn Lung” include dry cough and shortness of breath. Symptoms usually appear gradually and progressively worsen over several months or years.
NIOSH Safety Limit for Diacetyl Exposure Per Day
In August 2011, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) released a report stating the acceptable exposure level of diacetyl was 65 μg per day (1 μg = 1 millionth of a gram). The acceptable level of 2,3-Pentanedione was 137 μg/day.
Many Vaping Liquids Contain Toxic Levels of Diacetyl
In December 2015, researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health analyzed 51 e-cigarette liquids in sweet flavors like fruit, candy, and cocktail. They found diacetyl in 76% of the products in concentrations up to 239 μg per e-cigarette — nearly 4X the safety limit set by the NIOSH.
Another study published in June 2014 tested 159 sweet-flavored e-cigarette liquids, and found that 74.2% contained diacetyl or acetyl propionyl. Exposure levels ranged up to 278 μg per day for diacetyl, and 47% of products contained more diacetyl than NIOSH-defined safety limits.
Acetyl propionyl (2,3-pentanedione)
Acetyl propionyl is a popular alternative to diacetyl, but it may be just as bad. The chemical structure is nearly identical to diacetyl and many animal studies have found similar respiratory side effects. It has been called a “high-priority” substance that may pose a respiratory hazard by OSHA.
Diacetyl and “Popcorn Lung” Lawsuits
The first “Popcorn Lung” lawsuits involving diacetyl were filed in 2001 by 30 workers at a Missouri popcorn factory. By 2007, over $100 million has been awarded by juries or paid in settlements. One man from Colorado who ate microwave popcorn was awarded $7.2 million by a jury in September 2012. A growing number of class action lawsuits have been filed against manufacturers of vaping liquids that contain diacetyl, including Cuttwood LLC and Five Pawns Inc.
Need a Diacetyl Lawyer in Texas?
Collen A. Clark is a true advocate for his clients and is passionate about helping Texans that have been injured or wronged.
Collen’s amazing success in the courtroom and well known dedication to his clients has earned him the recognition of his peers as one of The Top Trial Lawyers in Texas.”
The Clark Firm has assembled a team of trial lawyers with more than 100 years experience, participation in over 600 jury trials and $260 million in verdicts and/or settlements. Please use the form below to contact our Texas diacetyl lawyers for a free lawsuit review.