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Work injury in California popcorn factory worker raises concern

Another study is out regarding workers suffering from respiratory illness and other potential health hazards due to their exposure to certain chemicals in microwave popcorn. These chemicals are often found in the popcorn's butter flavoring. It has been alleged that workers across California and the country are at risk of a work injury as a result of being exposed to these chemicals. However, despite the risks associated with these chemicals, California is one of the few states in the country that has taken any action to reduce the potential harm to workers suffering from prolonged exposure.

Not only has the popcorn flavoring been linked to respiratory illness, but medical experts are now stating that it may have links to Alzheimer's as well. Although the federal government has suggested that companies limit their workers' exposure, there are no standards in place and a large number of companies continue to use large amounts of the flavoring known as diacetyl. It has been asserted that the continued exposure to the chemical could affect thousands of Americans across the country.

In a 2006 report, it was found that the problems caused by the exposure to the chemicals may be more severe than anyone knows due to workers reluctance to report their sicknesses. This, along with many doctors' inability to identify the cause of the worker's sicknesses, has raised further concern. Although a nationwide problem, California became the first state in 2010 to incorporate safety rules to address this ongoing issue.

California factory workers have a right to perform their duties in an atmosphere that will not unjustly expose them to suffering a serious work injury or illness. If such an injury does occur, the worker may benefit from seeking assistance in how to file a claim for workers' compensation benefits properly and in a timely fashion. Through this claim, the worker may be entitled to payments for their treatment and any missed wages they will suffer due be their missing work as a result of their illness or injury.

Source: In These Times, "Research Raises More Toxic Health Concerns for Popcorn Workers," Michelle Chen, Aug. 9, 2012

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