Some people hail vaping like a safer alternative to cigarettes, arguing that there’s no tobacco smoke, so it’s got to be safer. It remains to be seen if that’s true, where there is a few evidence that the stuff inside vapes and e-cigs is toxic. But beyond that, there’s the simple fact this stuff occasionally blow up.
You hadn’t found out about this? Some pretty gruesome reports are starting to pile 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 twelve teeth in the similar mishap recently. In Tennessee, another teen is recovering from the severe burns caused whenever a vape starter kit caught fire in their pocket a couple weeks ago.
Statistics outlining exactly how prevalent this really is remain thin, although the Federal Emergency Management Agency, of things, identified 25 cases of electronic cigarette explosions in the usa between 2009-2014. However, that list relies only on incidents reported through the media. Considering the fact that vaping’s seen a surge in popularity ever since then-this past year, the CDC reported a 3-fold increase among middle- and school students alone-the telephone number almost definitely is rising. A quick Google search shows at least twelve explosions in 2015 alone.
As an alternative to burning tobacco, vape pens and e-cigs use a small lithium-ion battery to heat an aerosol cartridge to discharge a vapor that’s inhaled. Like in any device which uses lithium-ion batteries, you can come upon problems if the battery is damaged or subjected to extremes in temperature. A short circuit may cause battery to overheat, catch fire, or perhaps explode. These complaints have a tendency to exist in cheap consumer gadgets which are quickly churned away from factories. Overall, it’s relatively rare, but obviously it happens-most recently, in hoverboard scooters.
“With lithium-ion batteries in general, 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 of but four US states are averaging temperatures below 50 today.
Occasionally, the issue is compounded by cheap lithium-ion batteries that “don’t hold the luxury of utilizing sophisticated management systems,” Viswanathan says. That can lead to dangerously over- or under-charged batteries. Dendrite can be another potential problem. Dendrite is a conductive filament that could form during the period of boxmmod charge/discharge cycles, especially if the battery is rapidly charged. These things can spread similar to a weed, eventually bridging the electrodes and resulting in a short circuit. “You have basically something equivalent to gasoline within your lithium-ion battery,” Viswanathan says, “and so immediately it catches fire.”
Lithium-ion batteries power a great deal of gadgets of course, and sometimes achieve this without trouble. But such things as cellphones and laptops and electric vehicles typically are manufactured to exacting specifications and rigorously tested, both through the company and outside experts. The Smoke-Free Alternative Trade Association, which represents for vape-makers, stated it “cannot speak to user error or on behalf of a manufacturer for device” and, “When there is truly a concern having a specific device, comparable to a lap top or cellphone manufacturer, that company should take the appropriate action.”
And to be fair, it’s not unusual for users to change their box mod vape, and any number of websites offer guidelines on how to do exactly that. The market trade group duly notes that hacked and modded devices can pose a safety risk.
All of these begs the question what, if anything, will be done relating to this. Most regulatory discussions about e-cigarettes and vapes concentrate on the Food and Drug Administration’s critique of your chemicals located in the devices. The FDA is going to introduce rules regulating the marketplace, a move that can classify e-cigarettes and vaping products just like tobacco. Products would carry warning labels, sales to minors would be banned, and you’d see restrictions on things like offering free samples. But little has been said about the safety from the devices.
The Smoke-Free Alternative Trade Association says it supports “reasonable science-based regulations,” but opposes everything that might “stifle innovation.” But it really 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 whether it has any safety concerns concerning the devices, the buyer Products Safety Commission deferred for the FDA, saying it is the federal regulator in control there. The FDA does claim responsibility for ensuring the security in the parts from the devices which are found in the intake of tobacco products. But there aren’t a lot of safety rules for manufacturers to follow along with, as well as the FDA is encouraging customers to report any problems.
Viswanathan includes a recommendation for companies making what is rda vaping as well as other gadgets which 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 susceptible to catching fire,” he says, “and car makers have discovered efficient ways to create zones where these batteries are secure to work.”
Granted, the odds that your particular vape pen will blow up just like an exploding cigar are slim. However it is possible, so your best bet is to purchase an excellent vape pen coming from a reputable manufacturer. Look into the parts-once they feel and look cheap, they probably are. Viswanathan suggests ensuring that it’s got some type of battery management system to avoid shorts and thermal runaway. Ensure you’re using the right battery and charger, and don’t modify anything.