Understanding the Risks of Diacetyl

Diacetyl is a chemical compound used in many different consumer products to incorporate the texture, taste, and smell of butter. Pretty much any type of processed butter flavoring has diacetyl as one of the ingredients. Though the FDA has deemed diacetyl safe, this only applies to ingestion, not inhalation.

In severe cases, diacetyl can cause an irreversible disease of the lungs known as bronchiolitis obliterans, often referred to as “Popcorn Lung.” This disease causes the bronchi of the lungs to become fibrous, inhibiting the transfer of oxygen into and CO2 out of the bloodstream. As the disease progresses, it impedes lung function and can ultimately lead to the need for a lung transplant. Let’s take a look at a few ways you can avoid diacetyl altogether.

DIY Beer

Diacetyl can be artificially created, or it can occur naturally during food processing or in foods themselves. If you brew your own beer, you should take precautionary measures to ensure you aren’t inhaling diacetyl. It is created as part of the fermentation process, and the amount created depends heavily on the fermentation process and different strains of yeast.

Movie Theater Popcorn?

We all know the smell of freshly popped popcorn — that aroma of buttery, salty goodness. If you inhale that smell from anything other than popcorn with real butter, however, you are exposing yourself to the risk of Popcorn Lung. You could be at risk even if you cook microwave popcorn with artificial butter flavoring. Eating it isn’t harmful, but when you breathe it in, you are opening yourself up to potentially toxic fumes.

That’s not to say you’ll get sick after one time. Rather, your risk grows bigger every time you’re exposed. For employees of manufacturing facilities that produce foods with diacetyl, it’s a fact that can’t be dismissed. By gaining knowledge of what everyday food products you use that contain diacetyl, you’ll be able to protect both yourself and the ones around you.

DIY E-Juices

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Image via Flickr by wstryder.

Diacetyl has been discovered to be a significant problem when it comes to the vaping community. This one is a no-brainer, especially if you know that this chemical can cause major lung disease by inhaling it. One would think that manufacturers of e-juices would eliminate it from their list of ingredients or that the regulatory divisions of government would get involved.

The truth is that the effects of diacetyl have been known for many years, yet nothing has been done about it. It is recommended to mix e-juices yourself, ensuring that you are using a diacetyl free vape juice.

Diacetyl is just one example of ingredients used in consumer products that have the potential to cause serious health problems. Safeguarding your health and the health of your family is your responsibility. Corporate manufacturing companies know this to be fact, and unless required by law, they won’t volunteer information that could harm sales. This is why you can’t wait around for them to place warning labels on their products. You have to put in the effort and research what you are allowing into your body.