09/26/2007

Dangers of microwave popcorn fumes

Bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome (BOS) ­ involving the obliteration of the
tiny airways in the lung is a rare disease first seen in 1985 in workers in
food-flavour factories. In 2002, the disease was seen in workers making
microwave popcorn -- in particular, those exposed to a buttery-tasting chemical
called diacetyl. There have been many other reports since then, with at least
three deaths and many patients now awaiting lung transplants.

Now researchers in the Netherlands have identified a chemical agent that may be
a, if not the, culprit in BOS.

The research, which examined a population of workers at a chemical plant
producing diacetyl, was reported in a September issue of the American Journal
of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Many foods other than popcorn contain diacetyl. There's no indication that
eating these foods is dangerous. But breathing fumes containing diacetyl
appears to be very dangerous.

More info


AplusA-online.de - Source: National Safety Council of Australia Ltd (NSCA)