What Is Popcorn Lung and How Is It Linked To Vaping?

The use of JUUL and other e-cigarettes has been linked to many serious injuries, including heart attacks, strokes, seizures, and nicotine addiction. However, much of the focus of the medical professionals working to combat the e-cigarette epidemic has been on another serious injury – the incurable lung condition known as bronchiolitis obliterans.

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What is Bronchiolitis Obliterans?

With every breath we take, air flows into our mouth or nose and then down into our windpipe. The windpipe then divides into two bronchi, which then divide into smaller and smaller tubes with bronchioles-lung-diagramair sacs to transport oxygen throughout the body. It is inside the tiny tubes within our lungs – called bronchioles – that the dangers of the incurable respiratory disease bronchiolitis obliterans, also known as “popcorn lung,” first become visible.

Popcorn lung occurs when an outside agent causes irritation, scarring, and inflammation of the bronchiole tubes. As a result, the airways become thick with scar tissue and the pathway for air becomes increasingly narrower. Breathing becomes more difficult, and one often begins to feel shortness of breath due to a lack of oxygen and inability to breathe properly. Although there are treatments to limit and manage symptoms of popcorn lung, there is not a known cure and the disease is life-threatening.

What Causes Bronchiolitis Obliterans?

The flavoring chemical diacetyl has been linked to causing bronchiolitis obliterans. The disease became known as “popcorn lung” after the cases that first linked diacetyl to bronchiolitis obliterans. Until 2007, diacetyl was a flavoring chemical used for butter flavoring in microwave popcorn. However, research emerged that factory workers in microwave popcorn plants who inhaled diacetyl were increasingly being diagnosed with bronchiolitis obliterans. As a result of the findings, diacetyl flavoring was removed from microwave popcorn.

How Does Diacetyl Inhalation Occur Today?

Diacetyl is still used today to flavor certain e-cigarette products. According to the American Lung Association, diacetyl is added to the “e-juice” liquid ingredients used to create flavorings such as vanilla, maple, coconut, and many more. The aerosol is then inhaled by the user, and diacetyl begins to damage the lungs.

In 2015 the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health conducted a study to investigate the presence of diacetyl in flavored e-cigarette products. Diacetyl was found in 39 out of the 51 flavored e-cigarette products and refill liquids that were tested by researchers. While JUUL claims that it does not use diacetyl in its e-juice, a 2019 Yale study found additional chemicals not included in JUUL’s ingredients are created when the e-juice liquid is vaporized.

How Do I Know if My Loved One has been Harmed by E-Cigarette Use?

Symptoms of Bronchiolitis Obliterans include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Chest pain
  • Cough
  • Weight loss
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Trouble doing routine tasks such as washing one’s hair or tying shoes
  • Difficulty breathing

What Should I Do if My Loved One has been Harmed by E-Cigarette Use? 

If you or a loved one has been harmed after the use of a JUUL e-cigarette, contact the attorneys at GoldenbergLaw. With over 30 years of experience fighting corporate negligence, we deliver the Gold standard advocacy you deserve.

Fast Facts: What You Should Know About Roundup & Cancer Risks

As one of the most popular weed killers in the world, Roundup use is widespread.  Now, multiple studies have linked Roundup exposure to development of NHL.  Yet the makers of Roundup failed to warn of the NHL risk and continue to deny responsibility for their actions.  That’s not right, and GoldenbergLaw wants to help.

NHL develops when certain human cells multiply out of control.  The cancer starts in the white blood cells of the immune system and can eventually cause death, typically by infection.  Symptoms of NHL include swollen lymph nodes, abdominal pain or swelling, chest pain, coughing, difficulty breathing, fatigue, fever, night sweats, and unexplained weight loss.  Chemotherapy and radiation are the most common NHL treatments, but bone marrow transplants and other drug therapies may also be necessary.

Multiple studies have now linked the development of NHL to Roundup exposure, including a 2019 study titled “Exposure to Glyphosate-Based Herbicides and Risk for Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma:  A Meta-Analysis and Supporting Evidence.”  That study reviewed six others involving nearly 65,000 participants and found that the ingredients in Roundup, namely glyphosate, are associated with an increased risk for NHL in humans.  The latency period for development of NHL as a result of exposure to Roundup may be as short as two years.

Farmers, homeowners, gardeners, landscapers, and others across the country have been using Roundup for decades without ever being warned of the potentially deadly NHL risk.  Now, Monsanto and Bayer are being held accountable in court.  Recent verdicts have totaled hundreds of millions of dollars. 

There have been on-going settlement negotiations in this litigation. However, no settlement has yet been reached. We believe that time is of the essence to pursue your claim to be included in this potential settlement. GoldenbergLaw will immediately evaluate your potential claim. Please contact Noah Lauricella at 612-335-9977 or nlauricella@goldenberglaw.com.to discuss your legal options.

Contact us today, and get the Gold standard advocacy you deserve.

Roundup Verdicts Find Strong Public Support

While the manufacturers of Roundup—Bayer AG—combat thousands of lawsuits regarding the safety of their product, they are also facing a trial in the court of public opinion. A recent wave of plaintiff victories in California has brought the safety of the popular herbicide Roundup into question and produced immense public scrutiny. Although Bayer AG claims that Roundup is safe, three juries have disagreed after being presented with evidence from both sides of the case. The plaintiffs claim that the active ingredient in Roundup—glyphosate—is a human carcinogen that can cause a blood cancer known as Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (NHL).

What Juries are Saying

An extraordinary wave of juror advocacy has occurred after Bayer filed appeals to reduce the monetary damages awarded to the plaintiffs. Jurors from the Roundup trials have felt compelled to write letters to the judge voicing their profound concerns about Roundup’s safety.

Juror Robert Howard was one of nine jurors who concluded that glyphosate exposure likely caused former school groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson’s cancer and awarded him $289 million. After

gavel and law books

attending a post-trial hearing that suggested the award would be reduced, Howard felt a “civic duty” to write a letter to California Superior Court Judge Suzanne Ramos Bolanos expressing his concerns regarding Roundup’s safety. Howard now contributes to an anti-Roundup blog called Glyphosate Girl. Johnson’s award was later reduced to $78 million.

In another case, Judge Vince Chhabria reduced the jury’s award from $80.27 million to $25.27 million for Edwin Hardeman who used Roundup for decades starting in the 1980s and was diagnosed with NHL in 2014. After the jury’s award was slashed, a juror wrote the judge asking him not to decrease the award because “based on the evidence provided, ‘reprehensible’ is much too kind a word to describe the actions of the Monsanto employees responsible for putting Roundup on the shelves of stores without a cancer warning on the label.”

Juror Robert Howard from the Johnson trial also wrote to the judge in the Hardeman case expressing his hope that the jury’s award will stand: “It is just what happens when jurors find evidence of such egregious behavior by a company that they feel it is their duty to speak out and support their verdicts in the hope the company will be compelled to change its behavior.”

Public Sentiment About Roundup

The recent scientific discoveries regarding the dangers of glyphosate and the subsequent Roundup cases have sparked public outcry over the safety of Roundup.

In 2015, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified glyphosate as a “probable carcinogen.” The announcement triggered lawsuits against Monsanto- the original manufacturer of Roundup. Plaintiffs alleged that Monsanto knew of the purported health risks of Roundup since the 1990s when a connection between glyphosate and lymphoma was uncovered. However, the company downplayed the results and did not put a warning label on products leading consumers to believe it was safe.

Trials produced internal emails from Monsanto and the plaintiffs argued that company scientists were asked to “ghostwrite” scientific papers downplaying the link between lymphoma and glyphosate in addition to trying to change a well-known toxicologist’s opinion that glyphosate could cause a gene mutation associated with cancer. These emails sparked public outrage and a sense of betrayal over the safety of Roundup products.

Public outcry only intensified when environmental groups conducted a study that purportedly found glyphosate in cereals such as Cheerio – a favorite of many children. In a report by Olga Naidenko, Ph.D. and Alexis Temkin, Ph.D., glyphosate was found in 21 oat-based cereal and snack products. The study by the Environmental Working Group found that all but four of the products contained levels of glyphosate higher than what EWG scientists consider protective for children’s health and safety.

The report claims that these products are exposed to glyphosate when Roundup is sprayed on oats to act as a drying agent and induce an earlier harvest while increasing the likelihood that glyphosate ends up in the products.

A Parent’s Concern

Farmer John Barton sprayed Roundup daily for several weeks every year for more than thirty years during his career as a farmer. He hoped that spraying thousands of gallons of Roundup would kill the weeds threatening his cotton crop.

However, in light of the recent concerns regarding Roundup’s safety, he is very concerned about his health and the health of his children: “I just think about the amount of Roundup that I used over the years, and then my sons started working for me when Monsanto claimed it was a safe product. I let my sons put those sprayers on their backs, and I’m worried. Now my biggest concern is as a parent.”

What Should I Do Now?

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin Lymphoma after using Roundup, contact the Minnesota Cancer Attorneys at Goldenberg Law. With over 30 years of experience fighting corporate negligence, we deliver the Gold standard advocacy you deserve