Flavoring chemicals are all around us.
Whether you’ve been around someone using an e-cigarette or enjoyed a bowl of butter-flavored popcorn, you have inevitably been exposed.
While these chemicals are prevalent, their use is not without consequence. Most consumers are in the clear; however, food factory workers who are constantly exposed to airborne chemicals in the workplace may face greater risks.
Chemicals in Food Factories
When food plant workers inhale flavoring chemicals, they face an increased likelihood of developing lung disease. The following chemicals have been linked to severe respiratory side effects:
- acetyl propionyl
Diacetyl is one of the most widely used flavoring chemicals, and there is increasing evidence of its dangers. This chemical imparts a buttery flavor and is added to many foods in manufacturing, including popcorn, cookies, crackers, margarines, syrups, and frostings, as well as other confectionery items. While consumers need not clean out their pantries, workers who play a role in the production of these foods should be aware of any direct diacetyl contact they face on a daily basis.
Diacetyl and Vaping
Another at-risk group may be those who use e-cigs or personal vaporizers. As the prevalence of these devices has steadily increased, research continues to point to their dangers. Many of the flavorings used for vaping contain diacetyl — creating a health risk for both the user and those around him.
The Dangerous Consequences
Diacetyl and other flavoring chemicals can cause conditions that range from mild to life-threatening. Some people, particularly those who have been exposed to diacetyl in the workplace, have developed bronchiolitis obliterans — a rare but dangerous condition that causes narrowing of the airways. Other conditions that have been linked to flavoring chemicals include asthma, COPD, emphysema, and hypersensitivity pneumonitis.
If you believe you’re at risk, the following symptoms could be warning signs:
- Shortness of breath
- Decreased lung capacity with activity
- Unexplained fatigue
- Frequent fevers
Know Your Rights
Sadly, most people who suffer harm are unaware of the dangers of diacetyl and other chemicals. If you have developed a serious lung condition and believe it could be linked to your exposure to flavoring chemicals, speaking with an attorney can shed light on the legal options available to you. Ward Black Law is offering free case reviews and is ready to answer your questions today. Contact us to schedule a consultation.