Some individuals hail vaping as being a safer replacement for cigarettes, arguing that there’s no tobacco smoke, so it’s reached be safer. It remains to be noticed if that’s true, there is some evidence how the stuff inside vapes and e-cigs is toxic. But beyond that, there’s the very fact these things occasionally blow up.
You hadn’t heard about this? Some pretty gruesome reports are starting to accumulate. In November, a man in Colorado broke his neck, lost some teeth, and suffered burns and facial fractures when his e-cigarette exploded. A 15-year-old California boy lost half twelve teeth within a similar mishap last month. In Tennessee, another teen is dealing with the severe burns caused each time a vape starter kit caught fire in their pocket a couple of weeks ago.
Statistics outlining precisely how prevalent this really is remain thin, but the Federal Emergency Management Agency, of all things, identified 25 cases of electronic cigarette explosions in the US between 2009-2014. However, that list is located only on incidents reported by the media. Considering the fact that vaping’s seen a surge in popularity since then-just last year, the CDC reported a three-fold increase among middle- and school students alone-the quantity almost definitely is rising. A quick Online search shows at the very least a dozen explosions in 2015 alone.
Rather than burning tobacco, vape pens and e-cigs use a small lithium-ion battery to heat an aerosol cartridge to release a vapor that’s inhaled. Like any device that uses lithium-ion batteries, it is possible to run into problems once the battery is damaged or subjected to extremes in temperature. A shorter circuit may cause battery to overheat, catch fire, as well as explode. These complications have a tendency to happen in cheap consumer gadgets which can be quickly churned out from factories. Overall, it’s relatively rare, but obviously it takes place-most recently, in hoverboard scooters.
“With lithium-ion batteries generally speaking, once you operate one outside its safety window, there’s a tendency where things could go wrong,” says Venkat Viswanathan, who teaches mechanical engineering Carnegie Mellon University. That window is startlingly small: Viswanathan says batteries are the best kept between 50 and 115 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s February, and all but four US states are averaging temperatures below 50 today.
Sometimes, the issue is compounded by cheap lithium-ion batteries that “don’t have the luxury of using sophisticated management systems,” Viswanathan says. That can bring about dangerously over- or under-charged batteries. Dendrite is another potential problem. Dendrite is a conductive filament that will form over the course of boxmmod charge/discharge cycles, specifically if the battery is rapidly charged. This stuff can spread similar to a weed, eventually bridging the electrodes and causing a short circuit. “You have basically something comparable to gasoline inside your lithium-ion battery,” Viswanathan says, “therefore immediately it catches fire.”
Lithium-ion batteries power a great deal of gadgets naturally, and frequently do this without trouble. But things such as mobile phones and laptops and electric vehicles typically are made to exacting specifications and rigorously tested, both by the company and outside experts. The Smoke-Free Alternative Trade Association, which represents for vape-makers, stated it “cannot talk to user error or for a manufacturer for his or her device” and, “If there is truly a challenge by using a specific device, comparable to a lap top or cell phone manufacturer, that company should take the appropriate action.”
As well as to be fair, it’s not unusual for users to modify their vape box mod starter kit, and numerous websites offer tips about how to just do that. The business trade group duly notes that hacked and modded devices can pose a safety risk.
Which all begs the question what, if anything, is now being done about this. Most regulatory discussions about e-cigarettes and vapes concentrate on the Food and Drug Administration’s critique in the chemicals in the devices. The FDA is about to introduce rules regulating the marketplace, a move that may classify e cigarettes and vaping products much like tobacco. Products would carry warning labels, sales to minors would be banned, and you’d see restrictions on such things as offering free samples. But little is considered concerning the safety from the devices.
The Smoke-Free Alternative Trade Association says it supports “reasonable science-based regulations,” but opposes anything that might “stifle innovation.” However it argues “e-cigs and vapor products are technology products, separate and distinct from combustible tobacco.” They liken them to consumer electronics.
That’s where things get tricky. Asked if it has any safety concerns about the devices, the individual Products Safety Commission deferred to the FDA, saying this is the federal regulator in control there. The FDA does claim responsibility for ensuring the security of the parts inside the devices which are utilized in the consumption of cigarettes and tobacco products. But there aren’t a great deal of safety rules for manufacturers to follow, and also the FDA is encouraging people to report any problems.
Viswanathan carries a recommendation for companies making what is popcorn lung from vaping and also other gadgets designed to use lithium-ion batteries: Crib from automakers making electric cars. They’ve developed sophisticated systems for minimizing the health risks of problems. “Lithium-ion batteries fundamentally are given to catching fire,” he says, “and car makers have discovered efficient approaches to create zones where these batteries are safe to function.”
Granted, the percentages your vape pen will blow up such as an exploding cigar are slim. Yet it is possible, so your best option is to find a high quality vape pen from your reputable manufacturer. Check the parts-when they appearance and feel cheap, they probably are. Viswanathan suggests ensuring that it’s got some type of battery management system to avoid shorts and thermal runaway. Make sure you’re while using right battery and charger, and don’t modify anything.