Wednesday, September 5, 2007

The Best Sentence

"A fondness for microwave buttered popcorn may have led a 53-year-old Colorado man to develop a serious lung condition that until now has been found only in people working in popcorn plants."
Via an excellent NYT article on the issue.

Can we reflect on the state of a society wherein there are diseases peculiar to our popcorn manufacturing plants? This is, literally, a niche illness, caused by inhaling the chemical (diacetyl) that we call "butter flavoring."
Heated diacetyl becomes a vapor and, when inhaled over a long period of time, seems to lead the small airways in the lungs to become swollen and scarred. Sufferers can breathe in deeply, but they have difficulty exhaling. The severe form of the disease is called bronchiolitis obliterans or “popcorn workers’ lung,” which can be fatal.

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