A federal court has awarded a Denver man $7.2 million because he contracted “popcorn lung” from microwave popcorn.
As reported by NPR’s food blog, “The Salt,” Wayne Watson – a furniture salesman from Denver, Colorado – claimed to have contracted “popcorn lung” from eating about two bags of Kroger brand microwave popcorn a day for about 10 years. “Popcorn lung” is a nickname for a serious respiratory illness. In Watson’s case, he says “popcorn lung” has left him with about 53 percent lung capacity.
The ingredient in the popcorn that’s being blamed is a chemical called diacetyl. Diacetyl is used in many foods to create a dairy flavor. Many who work in plants that produce the chemical have seen many forms of respiratory illnesses, however ,Watson is the only to have made a successful case regarding health issues from eating small amounts of the product. (more…)