Many people hail vaping as being a safer substitute for 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, there is some evidence how 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 of this? Some pretty gruesome reports are beginning to pile 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 twelve teeth inside a similar mishap last month. In Tennessee, another teen is coping with the severe burns caused every time a vape starter kit caught fire in his pocket a couple weeks ago.
Statistics outlining exactly how prevalent this can be remain thin, however the Federal Emergency Management Agency, of things, identified 25 cases of e-cigarette explosions in the united states between 2009-2014. However, that list relies only on incidents reported through the media. Given that vaping’s seen a surge in popularity since then-this past year, the CDC reported a three-fold increase among middle- and school students alone-the quantity certainly is rising. A quick Online search shows at the very least a dozen explosions in 2015 alone.
As an alternative to burning tobacco, vape pens and e-cigs make use of 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 may come upon problems when the battery is damaged or subjected to extremes in temperature. A quick circuit can cause battery to overheat, catch fire, or even explode. These complaints often appear in cheap consumer gadgets that happen to be quickly churned out from factories. On the whole, it’s relatively rare, but obviously it occurs-recently, in hoverboard scooters.
“With lithium-ion batteries in general, if 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 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 this time.
In some cases, the thing is compounded by cheap lithium-ion batteries that “don’t get the luxury of using sophisticated management systems,” Viswanathan says. That can cause dangerously over- or under-charged batteries. Dendrite is another potential problem. Dendrite is actually a conductive filament that can form throughout boxmmod charge/discharge cycles, particularly if the battery is rapidly charged. This stuff can spread similar to a weed, eventually bridging the electrodes and resulting in a short circuit. “You have basically something similar to gasoline inside your lithium-ion battery,” Viswanathan says, “and thus immediately it catches fire.”
Lithium-ion batteries power a great deal of gadgets naturally, and sometimes do this without trouble. But stuff like cellphones and laptops and electric vehicles typically are manufactured to exacting specifications and rigorously tested, both from the company and outside experts. The Smoke-Free Alternative Trade Association, which represents for vape-makers, said it “cannot speak to user error or on behalf of a manufacturer with regard to their device” and, “If there is truly a problem with a specific device, similar to a lap top or cell phone manufacturer, that company should use the appropriate action.”
And to be fair, it’s not unusual for users to modify their best vape box mod, and numerous websites offer guidelines on how to do just that. The industry trade group duly notes that hacked and modded devices can pose a safety risk.
Which all begs the question what, if anything, will be done relating to this. Most regulatory discussions about e-cigarettes and vapes focus on the Food and Drug Administration’s critique of the chemicals based in the devices. The FDA is about to introduce rules regulating the marketplace, a move that can classify electric cigarettes and vaping products just like tobacco. Products would carry warning labels, sales to minors would be banned, and you’d see restrictions on things like offering free samples. But little is considered concerning the safety from the devices.
The Smoke-Free Alternative Trade Association says it supports “reasonable science-based regulations,” but opposes whatever might “stifle innovation.” However it argues “e-cigs and vapor goods are technology products, separate and distinct from combustible tobacco.” They liken those to consumer electronics.
That’s where things get tricky. Asked whether it has any safety concerns regarding the devices, the buyer Products Safety Commission deferred towards the FDA, saying it will be the federal regulator in charge there. The FDA does claim responsibility for ensuring the safety of your parts inside the devices that are employed in the consumption of cigarettes and tobacco products. But there aren’t a lot of safety rules for manufacturers to follow, and the FDA is encouraging people to report any problems.
Viswanathan has a recommendation for companies making what is the point of 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 prone to catching fire,” he says, “and car makers have found efficient ways to create zones where these batteries are safe to use.”
Granted, the percentages your vape pen will blow up like an exploding cigar are slim. However it is possible, so your best bet is to find a high quality vape pen from your reputable manufacturer. Look into the parts-should they feel and look cheap, they probably are. Viswanathan suggests making certain it’s got some type of battery management system in order to avoid shorts and thermal runaway. Make certain you’re utilizing the right battery and charger, and don’t modify anything.