44 more plaintiffs joined in the lawsuit filed against International Flavors and Fragrences Inc., claiming exposure to a chemical in popcorn flavoring caused lung damage. The checmical, diacetyl, was used in the popcorn flavoring process at the Jasper Popcorn Co. plant in Jasper, MO. The checmical is linked to a lung disease called bronchiolitis obliterans, a disease of the lung that has been nicknamed “popcorn lung”.
So far, one worker from the Jasper plant has died from the disease and 8 workers have been evaluated for lung transplants. A story in the Missourian says that in 2002 NIOSH identified abnormal lung conditions in 117 workers at the plant. Since 2004, 43 workers have either settled with the plant or gone to trial and received a verdict.