In recent years, a possible link has been established between the development of lung disease and the increased use of diacetyl flavoring. As a result of its potentially harmful nature, it has been banned as an e-liquid and e-cigarette ingredient in many countries including the United Kingdom.

So much so that if you have been exposed to diacetyl flavoring and have suffered a health complication as a result of this (such as the development of lung disease), you could be entitled to file a lawsuit to claim some compensation. You can use to check the validity of your claim.

If you’d like to know more about the link between diacetyl flavoring and lung disease, this article contains all the information you could want.

Let’s jump right in!

What Is Diacetyl?

What Is Diacetyl

Diacetyl is an organic flavoring compound that is extensively used in the production and food flavoring industries. It is typically presented in the form of a yellow liquid and is the byproduct of yeast during the overall fermentation process.

Its use as a flavoring is largely thanks to its innate buttery taste and its ability to enhance just about any type of sweet flavor.

Diacetyl occurs naturally in alcoholic beverages but must be manually added for some additional flavor in specific foods.

What Foods Contain Diacetyl?

It is most commonly seen and used as a prominent chemical ingredient in different types of dairy flavorings such as butter. As a result, it is often an additive in types of butter-flavored microwave popcorn. Diacetyl is sometimes an ingredient in popular flavors such as butterscotch, caramel, and different types of coffee.

What Else Is It Used In?

In addition to food products, diacetyl is also commonly used and found in electronic cigarettes. The chemical is utilized in different e-cigarettes for the exact same reason it is utilized in food: for added flavors.

Diacetyl flavoring is added to different “e-juice” liquids by multiple e-cigarette companies for one specific reason: to complement different flavorings including maple, vanilla, maple, or even coconut.

Because of its generally sweet flavor, diacetyl allows vaping manufacturers and companies to offer various fruit, dessert, or candy flavors — essentially meaning they can cater to everyone’s taste. These are extremely appealing for young people who have more of a sweeter preference when it comes to e-cigarettes.

Diacetyl Inhalation

Side Effects of Diacetyl Inhalation

Although diacetyl flavoring is pretty safe to ingest in any quantity when it comes to consuming general food products, directly inhaling it via an e-cigarette may cause a whole host of horrible health complications. This includes (but is not limited to) the following side effects:

  • Eye, nose, or mouth irritation
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Death
  • Wheezing
  • Popcorn lung
  • Breathing issues
  • Respiratory diseases

Inhalation of diacetyl might also cause scarring and have a permanent negative impact on the lungs in different people. This will usually result in irreversible damage to the lungs.

Does Diacetyl Flavoring Cause Lung Disease?

There have been no observed negative health outcomes from either eating or drinking diacetyl flavoring. However, as we have mentioned above, directly inhaling large quantities of diacetyl and other similar flavorings may lead to irreversible damage.

Again, this may result in lung disease. But the exact effects of this sort of inhalation depend on the individual.

Diacetyl exposure has links to the development of bronchiolitis obliterans or ‘popcorn lung,’ as it is best known. This is a very rare and life-threatening form of obstructive type of lung disease.

Related to Lung Disease

This lung disease means that the bronchioles (air tubes in the lungs) are narrowed and compressed by inflammation and fibrosis, blocking the movement of air for the individual. The first observation of this type of lung disease occurred in 1985 in a factory that used diacetyl to make different flavorings.

Diacetyl flavoring is also closely associated with the development of severe respiratory impairment.


And that concludes this article about the relationship between diacetyl flavoring and lung disease! Hopefully, you now have a much better understanding of how diacetyl flavoring is related to lung disease, and some of the side effects that people may experience when exposed to such chemicals.

To keep things simple, extreme amounts of diacetyl inhalation do have strong links to lung disease, whereas simply ingesting large quantities of diacetyl is far less harmful to the body. So, if you want to reduce your risk of developing lung disease, it is in your best interest to avoid e-cigarettes altogether.

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