1. Butter flavored microwave popcorn
The chemical diacetyl, used for adding the fake butter flavor to microwave popcorn has been found to cause a life-threatening and irreversible lung disease known as “popcorn lung” in workers who inhaled the substance.
In response to the “popcorn lung” studies, manufacturers have started replacing diacetyl with another toxic chemical called 2,3-pentanedione (PD). A laboratory study has shown that PD damages the airway epithelium much the same as diacetyl. This damage is believed to be the underlying cause of “popcorn lung”.
There has also been a suggested link between diacetyl and Alzheimer’s disease. Diacetyl also easily penetrates the blood-brain barrier, a layer of cells which keeps harmful substances from entering the brain but allows helpful substances to cross.