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Two senators, union leaders and researchers urged the federal government Friday to set tougher restrictions on a microwave popcorn additive linked to lung disease among factory workers heavily exposed to it.

The chemical diacetyl, used as a butter flavoring in some microwave popcorn, has been linked to serious lung damage in workers who test hundreds of bags per day and inhale their fumes. It also was tied to disease in one consumer who ate microwave popcorn nightly and breathed the steam from freshly cooked bags.

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