Some people hail vaping as being a safer option to cigarettes, arguing that there’s no tobacco smoke, so it’s have got to be safer. It remains to be seen if that’s true, and then there is some evidence that the stuff inside vapes and e-cigs is toxic. But beyond that, there’s the actual fact these things occasionally blow up.
You hadn’t found out about this? Some pretty gruesome reports are starting 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 a dozen teeth in the similar mishap recently. In Tennessee, another teen is recuperating from the severe burns caused whenever a vape starter kit caught fire within his pocket a couple weeks ago.
Statistics outlining just how prevalent this is certainly remain thin, nevertheless the Federal Emergency Management Agency, of all the things, identified 25 cases of e-cigarette explosions in america between 2009-2014. However, that list is based only on incidents reported through the media. Considering that vaping’s seen a surge in popularity since that time-this past year, the CDC reported a 3-fold increase among middle- and high school students alone-the amount almost definitely is rising. A fast Online search shows a minimum of twelve explosions in 2015 alone.
Rather than 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 any device which uses lithium-ion batteries, you are able to encounter problems when the battery is damaged or subjected to extremes in temperature. A shorter circuit could cause battery to overheat, catch fire, and even explode. These complications tend to happen in cheap consumer gadgets that happen to be quickly churned away from factories. On the whole, it’s relatively rare, but obviously it occurs-most recently, in hoverboard scooters.
“With lithium-ion batteries in general, if you operate one outside its safety window, there’s a tendency where things can 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 today.
Occasionally, the thing is compounded by cheap lithium-ion batteries that “don’t get the luxury of utilizing sophisticated management systems,” Viswanathan says. That can lead to dangerously over- or under-charged batteries. Dendrite is an additional potential problem. Dendrite is actually a conductive filament that may form over the course of boxmmod charge/discharge cycles, specifically 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 similar to gasoline inside your lithium-ion battery,” Viswanathan says, “therefore immediately it catches fire.”
Lithium-ion batteries power a great deal of gadgets needless to say, and sometimes achieve this without trouble. But things such as cell phones 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, stated it “cannot talk to user error or with respect to a manufacturer for device” and, “If you find truly a challenge with a specific device, comparable to a lap top or cellular phone 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 numerous websites offer easy methods to accomplish that. The business 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 from 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 similar to tobacco. Products would carry warning labels, sales to minors will be banned, and you’d see restrictions on things such as offering free samples. But little has been said in regards to the safety of the devices.
The Smoke-Free Alternative Trade Association says it supports “reasonable science-based regulations,” but opposes whatever might “stifle innovation.” But it really argues “e-cigs and vapor products are technology products, separate and distinct from combustible tobacco.” They liken these people to electronic products.
That’s where things get tricky. Asked whether it has any safety concerns about the devices, the individual Products Safety Commission deferred for the FDA, saying this is basically the federal regulator in control there. The FDA does claim responsibility for ensuring the safety in the parts within the devices that happen to be used in the intake of cigarettes and tobacco products. But there aren’t lots of safety rules for manufacturers to adhere to, and the FDA is encouraging individuals to report any problems.
Viswanathan features a recommendation for companies making what is sub ohm vaping as well as other gadgets designed to 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 given to catching fire,” he says, “and car makers have found efficient ways to create zones where these batteries are secure to operate.”
Granted, the percentages that your particular vape pen will blow up as an exploding cigar are slim. Yet it is possible, so the best choice is to buy a high quality vape pen from a reputable manufacturer. Examine the parts-should they appearance and feel cheap, they probably are. Viswanathan suggests making sure it’s got some type of battery management system to prevent shorts and thermal runaway. Make sure you’re utilizing the right battery and charger, and don’t modify anything.