What is Popcorn Lung?

“Popcorn lung,” also known as Bronchiolitis Obliterans, is a serious condition of the lungs in which the smallest airways, the bronchioles, are affected. The condition causes damage or inflammation to the bronchioles and subsequent scarring, which can block the airways. There are several known causes for Bronchiolitis Obliterans, including exposure to chemicals and respiratory infections. The disease causes irreversible damage, although treatments are available to slow its progression.

History Of Popcorn Lung – Why Is It Called Popcorn Lung?

According to Health.com, Bronchiolitis Obliterans was dubbed “popcorn lung,” because exposure to the chemical diacetyl is a known cause of the disease, and diacetyl used to be an ingredient in popcorn butter. Several workers in a microwave popcorn factory contracted the illness due to their repeated exposures to diacetyl, hence the name “popcorn lung”. 

Popcorn lung is now considered a health risk associated with electronic cigarettes, vaping, and Juul pods (heavily marketed to youth). 

Popcorn Lung Symptoms

According to the Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center, part of the National Institute of Health, symptoms of popcorn lung include:

  • dry cough
  • shortness of breath
  • wheezing
  • fatigue and wheezing without having asthma

In general, symptoms have been found to progress slowly over the course of two to eight weeks following respiratory sickness or exposure to toxic fumes.

How is Popcorn Lung diagnosed?

Diagnosis of popcorn lung is dependent on several criteria. In order to be diagnosed, signs and symptoms must be present. In addition, several tests may be ordered to confirm the diagnosis, including a surgical lung biopsy, imaging studies, and/or pulmonary function tests.

How is Popcorn Lung Treated?

While popcorn lung does not have a cure, there are treatments available to slow its progression. These treatments vary greatly, including macrolide antibiotics, immunosuppressive drugs, and corticosteroids. If damage is severe, lung transplants can be utilized as well. In order to manage symptoms associated with popcorn lung, supplemental oxygen and/or cough suppressors may be utilized.

Is Popcorn Lung Fatal?

Popcorn lung is a serious disease with no cure. Although symptoms are manageable by way of various treatments, the disease is regarded as life threatening.

What Causes Popcorn Lung?

There are several causes for popcorn lung, namely respiratory infection and inhalation of toxic chemicals. Respiratory infections that have been linked to popcorn lung include Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), Mycoplasma, and Adenovirus. Popcorn lung can also occur after other respiratory illnesses, including pneumonia or bronchitis. According to the aforementioned Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center, known chemical lung irritants that can cause popcorn lung include “chlorine; ammonia; oxides of nitrogen or sulfur dioxide; welding fumes; or food flavoring fumes (such as diacetyl).” Additionally, metal oxide fumes, formaldehyde, ammonia, hydrochloric acid, and sulfur mustard have all been shown to cause popcorn lung.

Does Juul, Vaping, and Using E-Cigarettes Cause Popcorn Lung?

According to the American Lung Association, diacetyl, which is a known cause of popcorn lung, is contained in numerous e-cigarette flavors. It is added to the “e-juice” to enhance the flavors of the e-cigarette. Researchers from Harvard University have determined that, out of 51 e-cigarette brands, 39 of them sold products containing diacetyl. It is also noteworthy that this same study also concluded that 92 percent of e-cigarettes have either diacetyl or one of two other harmful chemicals: 2,3-pentanedione and acetoin.

Does Juul Contain Diacetyl?

Juul claims that their products do not contain any diacetyl. However, a recently published study from Yale concluded that Juul devices produced chemicals that were not displayed on the label. In a news release, Yale’s Hanno Erythropel stated: “People often assume that these e-liquids are a final product once they are mixed. But the reactions create new molecules in the e-liquids, and it doesn’t just happen in e-liquids from small vape shops, but also in those from the biggest manufacturers in the U.S.” It is therefore possible that Juul vape pens do in fact contain diacetyl.

Other Juul Lung Injuries

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website, multiple health authorities, including the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), among others, are investigating a national outbreak of e-cigarette, or vaping, product use-associated lung injury (EVALI). The article goes on to say: “As of February 18, 2020, a total of 2,807 hospitalized EVALI cases or deaths have been reported to CDC from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and two U.S. territories (Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands).” This outbreak has resulted in sixty-eight deaths. According to a 2016 study, vaping products with nicotine can cause damage to lung tissue and inflammation of the lungs, which are both linked to development of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). In a separate study, researchers found certain proteins in e-cigarette smokers’ airways that had previously been shown to play a part in COPD development.

Victims of Popcorn Lung from Juuling

A Canadian teenager was hospitalized with a suspected case of popcorn lung after he had been using vapes on a regular basis. In the case report, doctors wrote that due to the teenager’s inability to breathe on his own, he required placement onto a ventilator. Months after this incident, he was still complaining of difficulty breathing, and his doctors were unsure whether his lungs would heal completely.

Popcorn Lung and Juul Lawsuits

Turnbull Law Firm, a private injury firm and Law Center partner, has filed a lawsuit against Juul Labs, alleging that its product caused permanent lung damage that will require the victim, a former athlete, to receive long-term medical treatment. The law firm’s CEO and founder, Brett Turnbull, claims that the company flavored their e-cigarettes with diacetyl without properly warning users and the general public of the risks of taking in this toxic chemical. Turnbull’s client suffered from nicotine addiction when he started using Juul’s products in 2015, even though Juul products’ packaging did not warn of their nicotine content until 2018. The law firm alleges that Juul Labs purposely hid the fact that they were adding harmful chemicals like diacetyl to their products.

Should You File a Juul lawsuit?

If you are suffering from popcorn lung or any other ailment caused by using Juul vape pens, you should consider filing a lawsuit to obtain deserved compensation for your life-altering injury.

Who is Eligible to Join a Juul Injury Lawsuit? 

If you have been diagnosed with popcorn lung or any other respiratory illness after using Juul products, you may be eligible to join a class action lawsuit against Juul. The Law Center will connect you to a premier personal injury attorney to help you confirm if you are eligible to join a Juul lawsuit. 

How to join a Juul Lawsuit

If you are interested in joining a class action lawsuit against Juul, it is best you contact a skilled personal injury attorney who has experience with these types of lawsuits. The Law Center can connect you with a top personal injury attorney best suited for your claim.

Have You Sustained Injuries Like Popcorn Lung or Other Injuries From Using a Juul?

If you’ve been diagnosed with popcorn lung or any other lung condition after using a Juul or e-cigarette you may be entitled to be compensated for your injuries. It is possible that your injuries were caused by the reckless and thoughtless actions of Juul and other e-cigarette companies, who should be held accountable and make you whole. In order to do this, it is vital to have the best legal team behind you. The Law Center can help.

The Law Center is Here to Help

The Law Center connects people with premier Juul law firms and litigators. The Law Center partner, Turnbull Law Firm, is experienced with vaping, Juul, and e-cigarette lawsuits. When you’re going up against big and powerful companies, Turnbull Law Firm is a trusted ally in your corner, standing up for your rights and livelihood. Fill out the form below or call 866-465-1419 for immediate legal assistance and support.