A lot of people hail vaping being a safer option to cigarettes, arguing that there’s no tobacco smoke, so it’s reached be safer. It remains to be noticed if that’s true, and there is some evidence how the stuff inside vapes and e-cigs is toxic. But beyond that, there’s the actual 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 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 in the similar mishap recently. In Tennessee, another teen is dealing with the severe burns caused every time a vape starter kit caught fire in their pocket a few weeks ago.
Statistics outlining precisely how prevalent this can be remain thin, however the Federal Emergency Management Agency, of things, identified 25 cases of e-cigarette explosions in the US between 2009-2014. However, that list is situated only on incidents reported through the media. Provided that vaping’s seen a surge in popularity ever since then-just last year, the CDC reported a 3-fold increase among middle- and high school students alone-the quantity certainly is rising. A fast Search on the internet shows a minimum of twelve explosions in 2015 alone.
Rather than burning tobacco, vape pens and e-cigs make use of a small lithium-ion battery to heat an aerosol cartridge to discharge a vapor that’s inhaled. Like in any device that utilizes lithium-ion batteries, you are able to come across problems as soon as the battery is damaged or exposed to extremes in temperature. A quick circuit might cause the battery to overheat, catch fire, as well as explode. These issues often happen in cheap consumer gadgets that happen to be quickly churned from factories. Overall, it’s relatively rare, but obviously it occurs-most recently, in hoverboard scooters.
“With lithium-ion batteries on the whole, once 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 work best kept between 50 and 115 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s February, and all 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 have the luxury of making use of sophisticated management systems,” Viswanathan says. That can result in dangerously over- or under-charged batteries. Dendrite is yet another potential problem. Dendrite is actually a conductive filament that can form throughout boxmmod charge/discharge cycles, especially if the battery is rapidly charged. These things can spread similar to a weed, eventually bridging the electrodes and creating a short circuit. “You have basically something comparable to gasoline inside of your lithium-ion battery,” Viswanathan says, “so immediately it catches fire.”
Lithium-ion batteries power a great deal of gadgets obviously, and frequently do this without trouble. But things like mobile phone devices 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, said it “cannot speak with user error or on the part of a manufacturer for his or her device” and, “When there is truly a concern having a specific device, just like a lap top or mobile phone manufacturer, that company should go ahead and take appropriate action.”
As well as to be fair, it’s not unusual for users to change their vape mod box, and a variety of websites offer tips on how to accomplish that. The market trade group duly notes that hacked and modded devices can pose a safety risk.
Which all begs the question what, if something, has been done concerning this. Most regulatory discussions about e-cigarettes and vapes pinpoint the Food and Drug Administration’s critique from the chemicals found in the devices. The FDA is about to introduce rules regulating the business, a move which could classify electronic cigarettes and vaping products similar to 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 about 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 people to electronic products.
That’s where things get tricky. Asked when it has any safety concerns concerning the devices, the customer Products Safety Commission deferred to the FDA, saying this is the federal regulator in control there. The FDA does claim responsibility for ensuring the safety of the parts within the devices that are used in the intake of tobacco products. But there aren’t a great deal of safety rules for manufacturers to follow, and also the FDA is encouraging customers to report any problems.
Viswanathan carries a recommendation for companies making what is vaping and other gadgets that use lithium-ion batteries: Crib from automakers making electric cars. They’ve developed sophisticated systems for minimizing the potential risks of problems. “Lithium-ion batteries fundamentally are susceptible to catching fire,” he says, “and car makers have found efficient methods to create zones where these batteries are secure to use.”
Granted, the percentages that the vape pen will blow up as an exploding cigar are slim. However it is possible, so your best option is to purchase a high quality vape pen from a reputable manufacturer. Examine the parts-if they look and feel cheap, they probably are. Viswanathan suggests ensuring that it’s got some type of battery management system to avoid shorts and thermal runaway. Make sure you’re making use of the right battery and charger, and don’t modify anything.