Some individuals hail vaping being a safer option to 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 that the stuff inside vapes and e-cigs is toxic. But beyond that, there’s the fact these things occasionally blow up.
You hadn’t heard about this? Some pretty gruesome reports are beginning to stack up. 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 12 teeth in the similar mishap last month. In Tennessee, another teen is coping with the severe burns caused each time a vape pen starter kit caught fire in his pocket a few weeks ago.
Statistics outlining just how prevalent this is certainly remain thin, however the Federal Emergency Management Agency, of all things, identified 25 cases of e-cigarette explosions in the united states between 2009-2014. However, that list is based only on incidents reported from the media. Considering the fact that vaping’s seen a surge in popularity since that time-a year ago, the CDC reported a three-fold increase among middle- and school students alone-the quantity almost definitely is rising. A quick Search on the internet shows no less than a dozen explosions in 2015 alone.
As an alternative to burning tobacco, vape pens and e-cigs work with a small lithium-ion battery to heat an aerosol cartridge to discharge a vapor that’s inhaled. As in any device which utilizes lithium-ion batteries, it is possible to run into problems when the battery is damaged or exposed to extremes in temperature. A shorter circuit may cause the battery to overheat, catch fire, and even explode. These problems have a tendency to exist in cheap consumer gadgets which are quickly churned out from factories. On the whole, it’s relatively rare, but obviously it takes place-recently, in hoverboard scooters.
“With lithium-ion batteries generally, whenever 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 would be best kept between 50 and 115 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s February, and all but four US states are averaging temperatures below 50 at this time.
In some instances, the catch is compounded by cheap lithium-ion batteries that “don’t possess the luxury of employing sophisticated management systems,” Viswanathan says. That can cause dangerously over- or under-charged batteries. Dendrite is another potential problem. Dendrite is really a conductive filament that could form throughout boxmmod charge/discharge cycles, especially if the battery is rapidly charged. These things can spread similar to a weed, eventually bridging the electrodes and causing a short circuit. “You have basically something equal to gasoline inside your lithium-ion battery,” Viswanathan says, “and thus immediately it catches fire.”
Lithium-ion batteries power a whole lot of gadgets obviously, and often do this without trouble. But such things as mobile phones and laptops and electric vehicles typically are produced to exacting specifications and rigorously tested, both from the company and outside experts. The Smoke-Free Alternative Trade Association, which represents for vape-makers, stated it “cannot speak with user error or with respect to a manufacturer for device” and, “If you find truly a challenge with a specific device, much like a lap top or cellular phone manufacturer, that company should consider the appropriate action.”
As well as to be fair, it’s not uncommon for users to modify their box mod vape, and any number of websites offer tips about how to do exactly that. The market trade group duly notes that hacked and modded devices can pose a safety risk.
All of which begs the question what, if anything, will be done relating to this. Most regulatory discussions about e-cigarettes and vapes target the Food and Drug Administration’s critique of your chemicals found in the devices. The FDA is going to introduce rules regulating the industry, a move that may classify e cigarettes and vaping products much like tobacco. Products would carry warning labels, sales to minors could be banned, and you’d see restrictions on things like offering free samples. But little is considered concerning the safety of your devices.
The Smoke-Free Alternative Trade Association says it supports “reasonable science-based regulations,” but opposes something that might “stifle innovation.” However it argues “e-cigs and vapor merchandise is technology products, separate and distinct from combustible tobacco.” They liken these to electronic products.
That’s where things get tricky. Asked if this has any safety concerns regarding the devices, the buyer Products Safety Commission deferred to the FDA, saying it is the federal regulator in control there. The FDA does claim responsibility for ensuring the safety from the parts within the devices which are employed in the intake of tobacco products. But there aren’t lots of safety rules for manufacturers to go by, and the FDA is encouraging people to report any problems.
Viswanathan carries a recommendation for companies making what is popcorn lung from vaping along with other gadgets that utilize 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 susceptible to catching fire,” he says, “and car makers have realized efficient approaches to create zones where these batteries are secure to function.”
Granted, the odds that your vape pen will blow up such as an exploding cigar are slim. But it is possible, so the best option is to buy a high quality vape pen from a reputable manufacturer. Check the parts-if they look and feel cheap, they probably are. Viswanathan suggests ensuring it’s got some sort of battery management system to avoid shorts and thermal runaway. Be sure you’re utilizing the right battery and charger, and don’t modify anything.