Some people hail vaping as 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 how the stuff inside vapes and e-cigs is toxic. But beyond that, there’s the very fact these items occasionally blow up.
You hadn’t learned about this? Some pretty gruesome reports are beginning to accumulate. In November, a guy 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 recuperating from the severe burns caused when a free vape pen starter kit caught fire within his pocket a couple weeks ago.
Statistics outlining exactly how prevalent this is certainly remain thin, nevertheless the Federal Emergency Management Agency, of most things, identified 25 cases of e-cigarette explosions in the united states between 2009-2014. However, that list is located only on incidents reported with the media. Considering the fact 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 amount certainly is rising. A simple Online search shows at the very least twelve explosions in 2015 alone.
As opposed to 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 in any device which uses lithium-ion batteries, you may come across problems if the battery is damaged or exposed to extremes in temperature. A shorter circuit can cause the battery to overheat, catch fire, or even explode. These complaints usually exist in cheap consumer gadgets which are quickly churned from factories. On the whole, it’s relatively rare, but obviously it happens-most recently, in hoverboard scooters.
“With lithium-ion batteries on the whole, 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 work 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 instances, the catch is compounded by cheap lithium-ion batteries that “don’t hold the luxury of making use of sophisticated management systems,” Viswanathan says. That can cause dangerously over- or under-charged batteries. Dendrite is an additional potential problem. Dendrite is a conductive filament that may form during the period of boxmmod charge/discharge cycles, especially if the battery is rapidly charged. This stuff can spread like a weed, eventually bridging the electrodes and creating a short circuit. “You have basically something similar to gasoline inside your lithium-ion battery,” Viswanathan says, “so immediately it catches fire.”
Lithium-ion batteries power a whole lot of gadgets naturally, and sometimes do it without trouble. But things such as cell phones and laptops and electric vehicles typically are created to exacting specifications and rigorously tested, both through the company and outside experts. The Smoke-Free Alternative Trade Association, which represents for vape-makers, said it “cannot speak with user error or with respect to a manufacturer for his or her device” and, “If you have truly a concern with a specific device, just like a lap top or cellular phone manufacturer, that company should go ahead and take appropriate action.”
As well as be fair, it’s not uncommon for users to modify their vape box mod kit, and numerous websites offer guidelines on how to just do that. The marketplace trade group duly notes that hacked and modded devices can pose a safety risk.
Which all begs the question what, if something, will be done regarding this. Most regulatory discussions about e-cigarettes and vapes pinpoint the Food and Drug Administration’s critique in the chemicals found in the devices. The FDA is going to introduce rules regulating the market, a move that can classify electronic cigarettes and vaping products similar to tobacco. Products would carry warning labels, sales to minors could be banned, and you’d see restrictions on such things as offering free samples. But little has been said concerning the safety from the devices.
The Smoke-Free Alternative Trade Association says it supports “reasonable science-based regulations,” but opposes something that might “stifle innovation.” Nevertheless it argues “e-cigs and vapor merchandise is technology products, separate and distinct from combustible tobacco.” They liken these to consumer electronics.
That’s where things get tricky. Asked when it has any safety concerns in regards to the devices, the individual Products Safety Commission deferred for the FDA, saying this is the federal regulator in control there. The FDA does claim responsibility for ensuring the security of your parts inside the devices which are found in the consumption of tobacco products. But there aren’t lots of safety rules for manufacturers to follow along with, as well as the FDA is encouraging individuals to report any problems.
Viswanathan has a recommendation for companies making what is sub ohm 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 prone to catching fire,” he says, “and car makers have realized efficient strategies to create zones where these batteries are safe to operate.”
Granted, the odds your vape pen will blow up like an exploding cigar are slim. However it is possible, so the best choice is to purchase an excellent vape pen from the reputable manufacturer. Check the parts-once they look and feel cheap, they probably are. Viswanathan suggests making certain it’s got some form of battery management system to stop shorts and thermal runaway. Make sure you’re utilizing the right battery and charger, and don’t modify anything.