ILO Home
Go to the home page
Site map | Contact us Franšais | Espa˝ol

CISDOC database

Document ID (ISN)106653
CIS number 07-639
ISSN - Serial title 1077-3525 - International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health
Year 2007
Convention or series no.
Author(s) Egilman D., Mailloux C., Valentin C.
Title Popcorn-worker lung caused by corporate and regulatory negligence: An avoidable tragedy
Bibliographic information Jan.-Mar. 2007, Vol.13, No.1, p.85-98. Illus. 98 ref.
Internet access http://www.ijoeh.com/pfds/IJOEH_1301_Egilman.pdf [in English]
Abstract Diacetyl-containing butter flavour was identified as the cause of an outbreak of bronchiolitis obliterans (BO) and other lung diseases in popcorn-plant workers. Litigation documents show that the outbreak was both predictable and preventable. The industry trade organization was aware of BO cases in workers at butter-flavouring and popcorn-manufacturing plants but often failed to implement industrial hygiene improvements and actively hid pertinent warning information. Due to weaknesses in the organization and mandates of regulatory bodies, organizations such as NIOSH, OSHA, the FDA, particularly the "generally recognized as safe" (GRAS) system, and the EPA failed to detect and prevent the outbreak, which highlights the need for systemic changes in food-product regulation, including the need for corporations to act responsibly, for stronger regulations with active enforcement, for a restructuring of the GRAS system, and for criminal penalties against corporations and professionals who knowingly hide information relevant to worker protection.
Descriptors (primary) 2,3-butanedione; food industry; food additives; lung diseases
Descriptors (secondary) case study; bronchiolitis; information of personnel; role of government; management failure
Document type D - Periodical articles
Country / State or ProvinceUSA
Subject(s) Toxic and dangerous substances
Broad subject area(s) Chemical safety
Browse category(ies) Diseases of the respiratory system (except for pneumoconiosis & similar)
Ketones
Food industry