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Alzheimer's added to effects of flavorings chemical diacetyl

When you are not able to work because of a chronic illness, personal injury, disease or other condition, there are a number of financial resources you can use to replace the income you used to earn through working.

First, there is workers' compensation, a "no fault" insurance program that provides medical treatment, wage replacement, and partial or total permanent disability compensation to employees who suffer job-related injuries or illnesses.

Then, Social Security Disability Insurance is available to you if you worked for 10 years and have been disabled for 12 months or more. If you meet the criteria, you have the right to collect SSDI benefits.

That's exactly what has happened to flavorings factory workers. Five years ago, federal regulators discovered that chemicals in our added flavorings and extracts are not only harmful to the employees that produce them, but also to the people that eat them. Unfortunately, one of the worst offenders was one of our favorite smells: microwave popcorn butter flavoring.

However, only one state thus far has issued a new occupational rule on flavoring exposures for factory workers.

More recently researchers have discovered that not only does popcorn flavoring contain diacetyl (DA) a chemical that poses respiratory risks after long exposures, but now may also lead to long-term neurological deterioration in the form of Alzheimer's disease.

According to researchers, they have pinpointed both anecdotal and epidemiological evidence of the illnesses and now only need to figure out how much exposure or consumption one needs before displaying side effects of the deadly diseases.

The butter flavoring has been linked to health issues called "popcorn lung," a respiratory illness that causes bronchiolitis obliterans (a non-reversible lung disease that obstructs bronchioles and causes a consistent dry cough, shortness of breath and wheezing) and has been recognized by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Now, industrial workers risk brain deterioration as well.

Learn more about workers' comp and SSDI by visiting our Ann Arbor, Michigan, workers' compensation web page.

Source: inthesetimes.com, "Research Raises More Toxic Health Concerns for Popcorn Workers," Michelle Chen, Aug. 9, 2012

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