Many people hail vaping as being a safer option to cigarettes, arguing that there’s no tobacco smoke, so it’s got to be safer. It remains to be noticed if that’s true, and then 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 found out 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 electronic cigarette exploded. A 15-year-old California boy lost half 12 teeth within a similar mishap recently. In Tennessee, another teen is coping with the severe burns caused each time a vape starter kit caught fire within his pocket a couple weeks ago.
Statistics outlining precisely how prevalent this is remain thin, nevertheless the Federal Emergency Management Agency, of all the things, identified 25 cases of electronic cigarette explosions in the united states between 2009-2014. However, that list is located only on incidents reported from the media. Provided that vaping’s seen a surge in popularity since that time-just last year, the CDC reported a three-fold increase among middle- and high school students alone-the amount almost certainly is rising. A quick Online search shows at least 12 explosions in 2015 alone.
Instead of burning tobacco, vape pens and e-cigs utilize a small lithium-ion battery to heat an aerosol cartridge to release a vapor that’s inhaled. Like in any device that uses lithium-ion batteries, you can come across problems as soon as the battery is damaged or put through extremes in temperature. A short circuit can cause the battery to overheat, catch fire, and even explode. These problems have a tendency to happen in cheap consumer gadgets that are quickly churned out of factories. Overall, it’s relatively rare, but obviously it occurs-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 may 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 sorts of but four US states are averaging temperatures below 50 at this time.
Sometimes, the catch 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 can be another potential problem. Dendrite can be a conductive filament that can form over the course 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 equal to gasoline inside your lithium-ion battery,” Viswanathan says, “so immediately it catches fire.”
Lithium-ion batteries power a great deal of gadgets of course, and frequently do so without trouble. But things such as cellphones and laptops and electric vehicles typically are produced to exacting specifications and rigorously tested, both with the company and outside experts. The Smoke-Free Alternative Trade Association, which represents for vape-makers, said it “cannot talk to user error or on behalf of a manufacturer for device” and, “When there is truly a challenge by using a specific device, similar to a lap top or cellphone manufacturer, that company should consider the appropriate action.”
As well as be fair, it’s not uncommon for users to modify their vape box mod kit, and a variety of websites offer tips on how to do exactly that. The marketplace trade group duly notes that hacked and modded devices can pose a safety risk.
All of these begs the question what, if anything, has been done concerning this. Most regulatory discussions about e-cigarettes and vapes concentrate on the Food and Drug Administration’s critique of the chemicals in the devices. The FDA is going to introduce rules regulating the business, a move that can classify electronic cigarettes and vaping products much like tobacco. Products would carry warning labels, sales to minors will be banned, and you’d see restrictions on stuff like offering free samples. But little is considered regarding the safety of 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 electronic products.
That’s where things get tricky. Asked if it has any safety concerns regarding the devices, the Consumer 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 inside the devices that happen to be employed in the consumption of tobacco products. But there aren’t a lot of safety rules for manufacturers to adhere to, along with the FDA is encouraging men and women to report any problems.
Viswanathan carries a recommendation for companies making what is vaping? along with other gadgets that utilize lithium-ion batteries: Crib from automakers making electric cars. They’ve developed sophisticated systems for minimizing the risks of problems. “Lithium-ion batteries fundamentally are given to catching fire,” he says, “and car makers are finding efficient approaches to create zones where these batteries are secure to work.”
Granted, the percentages your vape pen will blow up like an exploding cigar are slim. But it is possible, so the best choice is to buy an excellent vape pen coming from a reputable manufacturer. Check the parts-should they feel and look cheap, they probably are. Viswanathan suggests ensuring it’s got some kind of battery management system to prevent shorts and thermal runaway. Make sure you’re using the right battery and charger, and don’t modify anything.