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Dangers of microwave popcorn.... Did anyone else see this?

By Terri Hall Jackson, Care2 contributing writer

When it’s movie night and you’re getting ready to break out the popcorn, using an air popper or jostling a pot of kernels in a heart-friendly oil on your stove top might be your best choices.

A report from the FDA indicates that a chemical coating used in microwave popcorn bags breaks down when heated into a substance called perfluorooctanoic (PFOA). The Environmental Protection Agency has identified PFOA as a “likely carcinogen.” Another study has found an acid that can be extracted from the chemical causes cancer in animals and is “likely to cause cancer in humans.”

A second potential danger in microwave popcorn is diacetyl, an FDA-approved chemical found in the fake butter flavoring. There’s even a debilitating respiratory disease called “popcorn workers lung,” (the medical name of the condition is bronchiolitis obliterans) suffered by microwave popcorn factory workers caused by extended inhalation of the chemical’s fumes. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, (NIOSH) concluded that diacetyl needs further study so that workers in the flavorings and snack industry are no longer at risk

The Food and Drug Administration continues to study whether consumers can develop lung disease from inhaling diacetyl. In response to the concerns regarding the risks of diacetyl exposure, a number of microwave popcorn manufacturers have discontinued using it in their products.

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Asked by sherribeare at 5:36 PM on Feb. 20, 2011 in Health

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Answers (6)
  • No, haven't seen that, We eat microwave popcorn almost every nite. Well, I guess its back to the stove for popcorn but, I never thought that popcorn was what would do me in.

    Answer by pswiley at 5:41 PM on Feb. 20, 2011

  • I had heard about the fake butter, but not about the bags! Luckily I changed to regular popping on the stove a long time ago. Cheaper, and tastes really good.

    Answer by PadmeJonez at 5:42 PM on Feb. 20, 2011

  • I did not see it. I love the ease of microwave popcorn.

    Answer by tootoobusy at 5:44 PM on Feb. 20, 2011

  • nope didnt know this! We dont eat microwave popcorn much anyway

    Answer by Owl_Feather at 5:54 PM on Feb. 20, 2011

  • We eat it all the time, I did not see it. But I still think we are going to eat it. It is easy and a nice after-school snack

    Answer by Bubbie0809 at 5:55 PM on Feb. 20, 2011

  • Hmmm, this makes me want to get an air popper even more now. I prefer the taste of air popped popcorn anyway.

    Answer by Eviesmommy at 6:18 PM on Feb. 20, 2011

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