E-cigarettes and vapes often contain diacetyl, a flavoring chemical linked to Popcorn Lung, a chronic lung disease first seen in workers at microwave popcorn factories.
Need a Texas Popcorn Lung 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 a lung disease, you should contact our lawyers immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a lawsuit in Texas.
In the early 2000s, nearly 200 workers at a microwave-popcorn processing plants were diagnosed with “Popcorn Lung,” an irreversible lung disease. Investigators blamed the illnesses on diacetyl, a chemical used in artificial butter flavoring.
Over $100 Million Awarded in Popcorn Lung Lawsuits
Many victims filed lawsuits blaming the popcorn industry for failing to warn that breathing diacetyl is harmful and “capable of producing systemic toxicity.” By 2006, over $100 million had been awarded in jury verdicts and settlements.
In September 2012, a jury awarded $7.2 million to Wayne Watson, a man from Colorado who was diagnosed with “Popcorn Lung” after eating two bags of microwave popcorn every day for ten years.
What is the problem?
Flavoring chemicals easily evaporate into the air, and many are highly irritating to the eyes, lungs, and skin, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
E-Cigarettes and “Popcorn Lung”
The dangers of inhaling diacetyl should be of concern for people who use vaporizers or e-cigarettes. In December 2015, researchers at Harvard analyzed vapors from 51 types of flavored e-cigarettes (fruit, candy, and cocktail-flavors). They found that 47 products (92%) contained at least one high-risk flavoring — diacetyl, acetoin, or 2,3-pentanedione.
Flavoring Chemicals Linked to “Popcorn Lung”
- Diacetyl is found naturally in many foods, but it is also artificially produced as a cheap flavor-enhancer. In addition to popcorn butter flavor, diacetyl is used in e-cigarette flavors like fruit, candy, cocktails, and more.
- Acetoin (acetyl methyl carbinol) is sometimes used to replace diacetyl because both chemicals are structurally similar. Acetoin is irritating to the skin, eyes, lungs, and mucous membranes.
- 2,3-Pentanedione is another structurally-similar replacement for diacetyl. Exposure has been linked to airway damage and thickening of fibrous connective tissue in the lungs.
What is Popcorn Lung?
Popcorn Lung, also known as bronchiolitis obliterans, inflames and obstructs the smallest airways. It rapidly scars tiny air-sacs in the lungs, which narrows the airways and makes it hard to breathe.
Symptoms usually occur gradually and progressively worsen over several years, but severe cases can also appear suddenly. Warning signs may include:
- Dry cough
- Shortness of breath
- Night sweats
- Weight loss
- Eye, nose, throat, and skin irritation
The most conclusive way to diagnose “Popcorn Lung” is with a lung biopsy — an invasive procedure to remove part of the lung and examine it under a microscope. The disease is sometimes misdiagnosed as asthma, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, pneumonia, or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).
“Popcorn Lung” causes irreversible lung damage. If the patient is diagnosed early, medications like corticosteroids and immunosuppressive therapy may help slow the progression. In severe cases, the only treatment is a lung transplant. Without treatment, it can cause death by suffocation.
Need a Popcorn Lung 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 popcorn lung lawyers for a free lawsuit review.