Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Garrett & Popcorn Lung

In the latest 12-Garrett vote, Representative Scott Garrett was the only Representative from New Jersey to vote against legislation requiring the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to develop safety standards for workers exposed to Diacetyl.

Excessive exposure to Diacetyl seems to lead to a condition commonly referred to as Popcorn Lung, because Diacetyl is commonly used in butter flavoring used on microwave popcorn. Doctors have given Popcorn Lung the more scientific name of Bronchiolitis obliterans, which WebMd reported on a couple of weeks ago:
It's a rare disease, first seen in 1985 in workers in food-flavor factories. In 2002, the disease was seen in workers making microwave popcorn -- in particular, those exposed to a buttery-tasting chemical called diacetyl. There have been many other reports since then, with at least three deaths and many patients awaiting lung transplants.
The damage from Popcorn Lung is irreversible, if the "awaiting lung transplants" part wasn't clear. OSHA has been petitioned several times to develop a standard, yet no action has been taken. If Garrett said anything on why he thinks it's a bad idea for the OSHA to develop a safety standard regarding a chemical that causes irreversible lung damage, when OSHA's purpose is to develop such safety standards, I'll post it here.

1 comment:

Dennis Shulman said...

With you doing this blog, who needs a research department? Thanks for not letting anything get by you. And, please, for all of our sake in District Five, keep it up.