Did you know that the flavorings used in your food could cause lung disease? As of now, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have not said that consumers are at risk, but there have been cases in which those working in food production plants have been impacted. One of the most prominent cases came out of a popcorn plant where workers had developed bronchiolitis obliterans.

This is very serious, as bronchiolitis obliterans is not something that modern science has any way to cure or reverse. Once it has been contracted, it is there for the life of the patient. The disease impacts the bronchioles, which are tiny airways that are found throughout a person’s lungs. These bronchioles were constricted and scarred when biopsies were done, making it hard to breath.

People who had the disease would often cough, though they did not usually have any phlegm in their throats. They would have trouble breathing, especially when exerting themselves. When trying hard, they would end up wheezing and gasping.

The disease is one that impacts different people to different degrees, so not everyone saw the same exact symptoms. It was much more severe for some people than for others.

Though more research has to be done to learn about flavorings and the hazards they may pose—and if they may be toxic—the CDC does say that there are things that companies can do, such as providing workers with masks, to keep them from breathing in such large quantities.

Those who are suffering from workplace illness in Pennsylvania need to know their legal options, especially when the illnesses are irreversible.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Flavorings-Related Lung Disease,” accessed July 31, 2015