Some people hail vaping like a safer option to cigarettes, arguing that there’s no tobacco smoke, so it’s reached be safer. It remains to be seen if that’s true, there is a few evidence that the stuff inside vapes and e-cigs is toxic. But beyond that, there’s the actual fact these matters occasionally blow up.
You hadn’t heard about this? Some pretty gruesome reports are starting to stack up. In November, a male 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 a similar mishap recently. In Tennessee, another teen is coping with the severe burns caused every time a vape starter kit caught fire within his pocket a few weeks ago.
Statistics outlining precisely how prevalent this is certainly remain thin, but the Federal Emergency Management Agency, of all things, identified 25 cases of electronic cigarette explosions in the united states between 2009-2014. However, that list is located only on incidents reported by the media. Given that vaping’s seen a surge in popularity consequently-last year, the CDC reported a 3-fold increase among middle- and school students alone-the number certainly is rising. A quick Internet search shows at the very least a dozen explosions in 2015 alone.
Rather than 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. Like in any device that uses lithium-ion batteries, you are able to run into problems as soon as the battery is damaged or exposed to extremes in temperature. A shorter circuit can cause battery to overheat, catch fire, or perhaps explode. These problems usually happen in cheap consumer gadgets that are quickly churned from factories. In general, it’s relatively rare, but obviously it happens-most 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 are best kept between 50 and 115 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s February, and all sorts of but four US states are averaging temperatures below 50 at the moment.
In some cases, the thing is compounded by cheap lithium-ion batteries that “don’t possess the luxury of utilizing sophisticated management systems,” Viswanathan says. That can lead to dangerously over- or under-charged batteries. Dendrite is yet another potential problem. Dendrite can be a conductive filament that could form during the period of boxmmod charge/discharge cycles, especially if the battery is rapidly charged. This stuff can spread just like a weed, eventually bridging the electrodes and causing a short circuit. “You have basically something equivalent to gasoline within your lithium-ion battery,” Viswanathan says, “so immediately it catches fire.”
Lithium-ion batteries power a great deal of gadgets needless to say, and sometimes do this without trouble. But such things as mobile phones and laptops and electric vehicles typically are created to exacting specifications and rigorously tested, both with the company and outside experts. The Smoke-Free Alternative Trade Association, which represents for vape-makers, stated it “cannot talk to user error or on the part of a manufacturer for device” and, “If you have truly a challenge having a specific device, comparable to a lap top or cellular phone manufacturer, that company should use the appropriate action.”
As well as to be fair, it’s not unusual for users to modify their box mod vape, and numerous websites offer easy methods to just do that. The industry trade group duly notes that hacked and modded devices can pose a safety risk.
Which all begs the question what, if something, is being done regarding this. Most regulatory discussions about e-cigarettes and vapes concentrate on the Food and Drug Administration’s critique of the chemicals based in the devices. The FDA is going to introduce rules regulating the industry, a move that could 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 of your devices.
The Smoke-Free Alternative Trade Association says it supports “reasonable science-based regulations,” but opposes something 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 people to electronic products.
That’s where things get tricky. Asked when it has any safety concerns in regards to the devices, the customer Products Safety Commission deferred to the FDA, saying it is the federal regulator in charge there. The FDA does claim responsibility for ensuring the protection in the parts within the devices which can be found in the consumption of tobacco products. But there aren’t a great deal of safety rules for manufacturers to follow along with, and the FDA is encouraging men and women to report any problems.
Viswanathan includes a recommendation for companies making what is vaping and 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 prone to catching fire,” he says, “and car makers have realized efficient approaches to create zones where these batteries are secure to work.”
Granted, the odds that your particular vape pen will blow up such as an exploding cigar are slim. Yet it is possible, so your best bet is to buy a high quality vape pen coming from a reputable manufacturer. Check the parts-once they appearance and feel cheap, they probably are. Viswanathan suggests ensuring that it’s got some sort of battery management system to prevent shorts and thermal runaway. Make certain you’re using the right battery and charger, and don’t modify anything.