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Popcorn Lung Disease Frequently asked Questions

Q: What is diacetyl and how is it used?

A: Diacetyl, which is also known as butanedione, is an artificial flavoring used in a variety of products such as beer, candy and microwave popcorn. Diacetyl is used to give foods a distinctive buttery flavor and smell and is also thought to contribute to the smoothness of beer.

Q: What is popcorn lung disease?

A: Popcorn lung disease, known as bronchiolitis obliterans, is a serious respiratory disorder. The disease most commonly develops from the inhalation of diacetyl vapors over prolonged periods of time.

Q: What should I do if I am exposed to diacetyl?

A: Popcorn lung disease is very rare among casual popcorn eaters, but consumers should avoid inhaling microwave popcorn fumes or switch to a brand that doesn't use the chemical. Heavy popcorn consumers and individuals who develop respiratory problems after working in microwavable popcorn manufacturing plants should contact the law firm of Humphrey, Farrington & McClain, P.C., to see whether they can file a claim against the manufacturers and distributors of the popcorn that caused their injuries.

Q: Who is most at risk for developing popcorn lung disease?

A: Popcorn plant workers are at the biggest risk for developing popcorn lung disease. Microwave popcorn manufacturers have been aware that diacetyl causes illness for two decades, but many employers have failed to take basic safety precautions to protect their workers. The most common individuals to develop popcorn lung disease are young males who do not smoke.

Q: How is popcorn lung disease treated?

A: Although there are options for treating the symptoms of popcorn lung disease, the only complete cure is a lung transplant.

Q: How will I pay for a popcorn lung disease lawyer?

A: The law firm of Humphrey Farrington & McClain, P.C., works on a contingency basis, which means that we cover all litigation costs until our clients achieve a successful outcome. We represent popcorn lung patients throughout the country. Contact us online or call 877-436-3692 to arrange a free initial consultation.


An Independence, Missouri, law firm focusing on helping families across the United States whose loved ones are afflicted by popcorn lung disease.