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The dangers of popcorn lung

On Behalf of | Aug 9, 2018 | Workers' Compensation

Wisconsin residents who work in large factories are exposed to danger constantly. They may end up dealing with occupational health hazards that can lead to long-term pain, injuries, issues like spinal disc degeneration, or chronic work-related illnesses. One such ailment is called “popcorn lung”, and its consequences can easily impact the sufferer’s daily life.

As WebMD states, “popcorn lung” is the colloquial name for bronchiolitis obliterans, an ailment in which the smallest airways in a person’s lungs are damaged. This can lead to a shortness of breath, constant coughing, and wheezing. Diacetyl is the main ingredient that causes concern in the workplace for popcorn lung. It’s where the illness got its name from as well, since this was a common chemical used to flavor microwave popcorn. Though it’s not used in popcorn as much after public outcry against the chemical, it’s still a common ingredient in electronic cigarettes.

Medical News Today states that quite a few other contributing factors can lead to a worker developing popcorn lung. Dairy products, potato chips and candies can all use ingredients with harmful fumes that can induce this injury. So can industrial air particles like complex dust, metallic fumes from welding, or even laughing gas. In essence, the danger for popcorn lung extends well beyond those who work with diacetyl or popcorn itself.

Workers who have had damaged lungs because of the nature of their work may have to take time off to recover. Because of this, they may suffer from the effects of lost wages and medical bills. For this reason, it could be crucial for these workers to seek the opinion of legal professionals and discuss their compensation options.