‘Popcorn Lung’- The name sounds interesting. Popcorn Lung is the other name of Bronchitis obliterans, a lung disease. Though this disease is very rare, during the early 2000s, many workers at a factory that packaged microwave popcorn were found to have bronchiolitis obliterans more often than other people. Further study revealed that diacetyl a compound used in a microwave popcorn factory was leading to this health condition.
What is Diacetyl
Diacetyl is the compound that gives a butter flavor to food and is found in wide range products, from butter to cocoa, coffee and alcoholic beverages. It is safe when consumed orally.
What other compound causes Popcorn Lung
Acetaldehyde, a chemical found in the smoke from marijuana and some electronic cigarettes can also cause Popcorn lung. This compound can also damage the lining of your mouth, throat, and stomach.
Can I get Popcorn Lung by some other way
Yes, you can. Bronchiolitis obliterans can also happen because of pneumonia or bronchitis. Popcorn lung can also develop in people with rheumatoid arthritis.
Why there is a sudden interest in Popcorn Lung
There have been reports about the usage of diacetyl in e-liquid or e-cigarettes. Recently a 17-year-old boy developed Bronchiolitis obliterans because of taking for five months flavored e-liquids.
How to treat Popcorn lung
According to the Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD), medicines are not there which can cure popcorn lung. But some antibiotics and immunosuppressive drugs can help to manage the disease. Cough suppressors and supplemental oxygen can also help. If the condition worsens, lung transplant is the only option.