Colorado Man Wins $7.2 Million From Popcorn Fumes

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Nothing like a buttery bowl of popcorn and a movie, right?  This is no longer the case for Wayne Watson from Denver, who developed a lung disease similar to bronchitis after inhaling the fumes from his microwavable bag of popcorn he had eaten regularly.  Wayne Watson settled with Gilster-Mary Lee Corp., The Kroger Co. and Dillon Companies Inc. for $7.2 million dollars for the damages to his lungs caused by the toxic buttery smell.  He won the lawsuit based on non-existent warning labels for diacetyl, an ingredient found in popcorn that gives the snack flavor.  Diacetyl, is linked with certain health conditions and is found in popcorn, margarine, and many baked goods.  It is even sometimes used to for bug repellent, good thing we are eating it.

The flavoring companies are defending their bug repellent and flavor stating that Mr. Watson had developed the lung disease from years of working with carpet cleaners.  Employees from the popcorn factories beg to differ.  They had just settled a lawsuit for health issues from inhaling the fumes while testing.

This news saddens me.  I am a huge advocate for popcorn and to hear that there are dangers to my health from the flavoring is life changing.  I will say this though, doesn’t everyone know that you are not supposed to inhale the popcorn fumes after you take it out of the microwave?  This is a lesson I learned at an early age but maybe Mr. Watson missed the memo.  Either way, I will be popping my own kernels with butter from a cow, just to be safe.