Popcorn Factory Lung Cases (Diacetyl)

Toxic Substances

Diacetyl, a chemical used in microwave popcorn butter flavoring, is responsible for a nationwide outbreak of a rare respiratory disease impacting the microwave popcorn industry. The disease, known as bronchiolitis obliterans, is more commonly known as Popcorn Lung or Popcorn Worker's Lung Disease. The connection between butter popcorn flavoring and popcorn worker's lung was first made public when eight former employees of the Gilster-Mary Lee popcorn plant in Jasper, Missouri developed the disease. A couple years ago, a consumer was diagnosed with Popcorn Worker's Lung from eating large amounts of microwave popcorn.

The National Institute of Occupational Safety & Health and the Center for Disease Control have linked the development of Popcorn Worker's Lung to diacetyl exposure. In 2007, two major popcorn manufacturers, Weaver Popcorn and ConAgra Foods, Inc., announced that they stopped using diacetyl in their microwave popcorn.

Diacetyl Exposure and Popcorn Worker's Lung Symptoms

Workers breathe in diacetyl vapors from the butter flavoring before adding it to microwave popcorn. These affected workers have developed shortness of breath, hardening of the lung tissue, and other alarming respiratory issues. People who consume extremely large amounts of popcorn may also be at risk. Unfortunately, these health problems cannot be reversed and the most serious cases of popcorn lung disease are life-threatening. Popcorn Worker's Lung is frequently misdiagnosed as asthma, bronchitis or emphysema. Some symptoms to watch for are shortness of breath, weight loss, night sweats and fever.

Companies Associated with Popcorn Lung

The following companies have been linked to popcorn lung disease. If you work or have worked for any of these companies and are experiencing breathing problems or related symptoms, you may have a claim.

  • Carmi Flavors & Fragrances
  • California Snack Foods
  • ConAgra Foods
  • ConAgra Grocery Products
  • Mission Flavors & Fragrances
  • Gaslamp Popcorn Company
  • American Popcorn Company
  • Nobel Distributor
  • Manson Industries
  • Vogel Popcorn
  • Weaver Popcorn Company
  • Bell Flavors & Fragrances
  • Cornfields
  • Gilster-Mary Lee
  • Tee Lee Popcorn
  • Amish Country Popcorn
  • Family Time Popcorn
  • Gettlefinger Popcorn
  • Ellis Popcorn Company
  • Mastertaste
  • Yatsko’s Popcorn
  • Lincoln Snacks Company
  • Shafco Haakenson
  • International Cup Corporation
  • Sensient Flavors

Contact an Experienced Attorney

With over four decades of experience, the Pintas & Mullins Law Firm has extensive knowledge about many types of toxic substance cases such as diacetyl exposure. Our attorneys work to ensure that you receive the best representation and the largest settlement possible. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries from diacetyl exposure, contact us for a free no-obligation consultation.


DefendingScience.org: Diacetyl/Popcorn Worker's Lung
Visit this link on the website defendingscience.org, a website dedicated to analyzing how science is used in the government, to read more about the disease known as diacetyl exposure and popcorn worker's lung.

Government Legislation Regarding Diacetyl Exposure
Visit this link on govtrack.us, a website where you can track legislation, to track legislation introduced to direct the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to issue a standard regulating worker exposure to diacetyl.

"Doctor Links a Man's Illness to a Microwave Popcorn Habit"
Visit this link to read an article from the New York Times regarding a popcorn consumer who developed Popcorn Worker's Lung.