• Reviewed on 9/07
    By Dr. Maier


    • Lisa A Maier, MD

      Lisa Maier, MD
      Dept. of Medicine
      Head, Division of Occupational & Environmental Health Sciences


      View full profile

Bronchiolitis Obliterans: Causes


The disease can be caused by breathing in irritant fumes, such as chlorine, ammonia, oxides of nitrogen or sulfur dioxide. Diacetyl, a chemical used to provide butter flavor in many foods, has also been suspected of causing bronchiolitis obliterans in workers who manufacture it or mix it into foods, such as butter-flavored popcorn. Bronchiolitis obliterans also can result from respiratory infections, a connective tissue disorder such as rheumatoid arthritis, and after a bone marrow, lung or heart-lung transplant.

Another similarly named disease, bronchiolitis obliterans organizing pneumonia, is a completely different disease.



More Bronchiolitis Obliterans Information


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Environmental and Occupational Health Services


National Jewish Health provides comprehensive diagnostic and therapeutic services to patients with a broad range of occupational/environmental lung diseases, including bronchiolitis obliterans. 

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