Status: Satire mistaken as news
Last week The Onion
ran a story reporting that increasing numbers of elementary-school art teachers are coming down with "glitter lung"
(aka pneumosparklyosis), a disease caused by inhaling too much glitter.
"When art teachers spend so much time in confined quarters with inadequate ventilation amid swirling clouds of glitter, it's only a matter of time before their lungs start to suffer negative effects," said Dr. Linda Norr, a specialist in elementary-school-related respiratory diseases. "Those sufferers who are not put on a rigorous program of treatment often spend their last days on respirators, hacking up a thick, dazzling mucus."
Apparently the story quickly made its way to online forums frequented by elementary school teachers, where some people mistook it for a serious article. This has prompted the lung disease specialist on About.com to post a statement
assuring people that "There is no such lung disease as Glitter Lung":
Although powdered glitter, not the typical square-flaked glitter, could be inhaled should someone throw a large handful of it into the air, it is not a danger when used as indicated. Furthermore, the larger, most common square flaked glitter is too large to pass down into the lungs and cause lung disease.
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