Some individuals 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, and there is a few evidence that the stuff inside vapes and e-cigs is toxic. But beyond that, there’s the very fact this stuff occasionally blow up.
You hadn’t found out about this? Some pretty gruesome reports are starting to accumulate. In November, a person 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 in the similar mishap recently. In Tennessee, another teen is dealing with the severe burns caused when a vape pen starter kit no nicotine caught fire in his pocket a few weeks ago.
Statistics outlining precisely how prevalent this is remain thin, nevertheless the Federal Emergency Management Agency, of all things, identified 25 cases of e-cigarette explosions in the united states between 2009-2014. However, that list is located only on incidents reported by the media. Considering the fact that vaping’s seen a surge in popularity since that time-just last year, the CDC reported a 3-fold increase among middle- and high school students alone-the telephone number certainly is rising. A brief Google search shows at the very least a dozen explosions in 2015 alone.
As opposed to burning tobacco, vape pens and e-cigs work with a small lithium-ion battery to heat an aerosol cartridge to discharge a vapor that’s inhaled. Like any device that utilizes lithium-ion batteries, it is possible to encounter problems when the battery is damaged or subjected to extremes in temperature. A quick circuit may cause the battery to overheat, catch fire, or even explode. These issues usually appear in cheap consumer gadgets which can be quickly churned out of factories. All in all, it’s relatively rare, but obviously it occurs-recently, in hoverboard scooters.
“With lithium-ion batteries generally, 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 but four US states are averaging temperatures below 50 at this time.
In some cases, the problem is compounded by cheap lithium-ion batteries that “don’t get the luxury of utilizing sophisticated management systems,” Viswanathan says. That can cause dangerously over- or under-charged batteries. Dendrite can be another potential problem. Dendrite is a conductive filament that can form over the course of boxmmod charge/discharge cycles, particularly if the battery is rapidly charged. These things can spread just like a weed, eventually bridging the electrodes and creating a short circuit. “You have basically something equivalent to gasoline inside of your lithium-ion battery,” Viswanathan says, “so immediately it catches fire.”
Lithium-ion batteries power a whole lot of gadgets obviously, and sometimes do this without trouble. But stuff like mobile phone devices and laptops and electric vehicles typically are made 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 talk with user error or with respect to a manufacturer with regard to their device” and, “If you have truly an issue with a specific device, comparable to a lap top or cell phone manufacturer, that company should take the appropriate action.”
As well as to be fair, it’s not unusual for users to change their vape box mod kit, and numerous websites offer guidelines on how to do just that. The business trade group duly notes that hacked and modded devices can pose a safety risk.
Which begs the question what, if anything, has been done concerning this. Most regulatory discussions about e-cigarettes and vapes focus 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 very much like tobacco. Products would carry warning labels, sales to minors could be banned, and you’d see restrictions on stuff like offering free samples. But little has been said regarding the safety in the devices.
The Smoke-Free Alternative Trade Association says it supports “reasonable science-based regulations,” but opposes anything that might “stifle innovation.” But it really 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 whether it has any safety concerns concerning the devices, the customer Products Safety Commission deferred for the FDA, saying it is the federal regulator in charge there. The FDA does claim responsibility for ensuring the security of the parts from the devices which can be found in the consumption of tobacco products. But there aren’t a great deal of safety rules for manufacturers to adhere to, and also the FDA is encouraging individuals to report any problems.
Viswanathan includes a recommendation for companies making what is vaping and also other gadgets designed to 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 are finding efficient approaches to create zones where these batteries are secure to use.”
Granted, the percentages that your particular vape pen will blow up like an exploding cigar are slim. But it is possible, so your best bet is to find an excellent vape pen from the reputable manufacturer. Look into the parts-once they appear and feel cheap, they probably are. Viswanathan suggests ensuring that it’s got some form of battery management system to stop shorts and thermal runaway. Make certain you’re making use of the right battery and charger, and don’t modify anything.