The first consumer to become afflicted by Popcorn Workers Lung has returned National Jewish Medical and Research Center for further testing. Since being diagnosed with bronchiolitis obliterans, the man has given up on butter flavored microwave popcorn, and doctors state that the progression of this uncurable disease with no known treatment has at least stabilized. Recent tests put the man’s lung capacity at 65%.
Popcorn Workers Lung is caused by exposure to diacetyl, a flavoring that, until recently, was commonly used to make microwave butter popcorn taste like butter. However, since workers in popcorn factories and this consumer, who have all had repeated exposure to diacetyl, have contracted the disease, many of the larger microwave popcorn producers have discontinued its use.
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