Lawsuits for Bronchiolitis Obliterans from Diacetyl Used in Microwave Popcorn Production

Bronchiolitis obliterans is a rare and life-threatening lung disease that can be caused by inhalation of diacetyl, a chemical used to give microwave popcorn it’s butter flavor. Since the irreversible lung disease commonly occurs among workers in microwave popcorn production, it is often referred to as popcorn lung or popcorn workers lung.

Contact Our Lawyers About a POPCORN LUNG LAWSUIT

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Saiontz & Kirk, PA, Attorneys & Lawyers, Baltimore, MD

The lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. are reviewing potential bronchiolitis obliterans lawsuits on behalf of individuals who work in popcorn factories or with chemicals used to produce the butter popcorn flavoring. To review a potential claim for yourself, a friend or family member, request a free consultation.


Bronchiolitis obliterans involves inflammation and scarring that occurs in the smallest airways of the lung. While the severe lung disease can occur from several known causes, the incidents of microwave popcorn worker bronchiolotis obliterans cases is far greater than the rate found in the general population.

Also known as obliterative bronchiolitis or constrictive bronchiolitis, the lung disease can cause:

  • Severe Shortness of Breath
  • Dry Cough
  • Wheezing

Bronchiolitis obliterans from microwave popcorn is often misdiagnosed as:

  • Asthma
  • Bronchitis
  • Emphysema
  • Pneumonia

Problems with bronchiolitis obliterans for popcorn workers are caused by exposure to the chemical diacetyl, which has been used in microwave popcorn to provide an artificial butter flavor. While exposure to diacetyl from consuming small amounts in food may be safe, long-term exposure and inhalation of the chemical by industry workers can have devastating consequences.

According to a 2004 alert by the CDC’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, an association was found between exposure to vapors from flavorings used during the microwave popcorn production process and decreased lung function from bronchiolitis obliterans.

Symptoms of popcorn worker bronchiolitis obliterans typically involves a cough (often without pflegm) and shortness of breath on exertion. The symptoms can range from mild to severe, but typically do not improve at the end of the work day or week. While some workers may see a gradual reduction of cough years after they are no longer exposed to the microwave popcorn flavor vapors, shortness of breath on exertion often persists.

Since the popcorn worker lung disease is irreversible, severe cases of bronchiolitis obliterans often result in the need for a lung transplant.


The bronchiolitis obliterans attorneys at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. are reviewing potential lawsuits for popcorn workers throughout the United States who have been diagnosed with this lung disease. Potential cases are also being reviewed for other industry workers, including those who worked in factors that produced the chemicals used during microwave popcorn production.

Bronchiolotis obliterans lawsuits filed by popcorn workers have resulted in several multi-million dollar jury awards against manufacturers who failed to warn about the risk of exposure to chemicals. Some consumers have also been diagnosed with bronchiolitis obliterans after heavy, daily use of microwave popcorn.

To review a potential case for yourself, a friend or family member, request a free consultation and claim evaluation. All claims are pursued under a contingency fee, which means that there are no fees or expenses to hire our bronchiolitis obliterans attorneys unless a recovery is secured for the lung disease.