First Advisor

Gates, Connie

Second Advisor

Bowie, Thomas


Regis College

Degree Name



Regis College Senior Honors Program

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Number of Pages

61 pages


I'm driving down I-25, between the exits for East 58th Avenue and I-70, about a mile stretch in Denver, Colorado, and I can't avoid the overwhelming stench of fumes akin to burning oil or smoldering rubber. I exit east on I-70 and the unappetizing scent of dog food overpowers the coffee in my hand. I arrive at work and am overcome by the aroma of buttery popcorn. I access my email and the first words I read are "Doctor Warns Consumers of Popcorn Fumes." Apparently pulmonary specialists at Denver's National Jewish Medical and Research Center have written to federal agencies that they believe they have a strong case of a consumer who developed lung disease from the fumes of microwaving popcorn. In the letter, doctors refer to the potentially fatal disease by its common name "popcorn lung," terminology used in lawsuits by hundreds of workers in food factories exposed to chemicals used for flavoring. This got me thinking"¦How do we account for malignancies, such as toxins that dramatically increase the development of cancer? Should the effects of synthetic carcinogens be tallied under "pollution" or "diet?" How do we monitor and measure sustainability like donating time, money, or expertise to the community from which a corporation benefits? How long will the long-term effects of chemically produced commercial materials remain untested?

Date of Award

Spring 2009

Location (Creation)

Denver, Colorado

Rights Statement

All content in this Collection is owned by and subject to the exclusive control of Regis University and the authors of the materials. It is available only for research purposes and may not be used in violation of copyright laws or for unlawful purposes. The materials may not be downloaded in whole or in part without permission of the copyright holder or as otherwise authorized in the “fair use” standards of the U.S. copyright laws and regulations.