Some individuals hail vaping being a safer replacement for cigarettes, arguing that there’s no tobacco smoke, so it’s have got to be safer. It remains to be noticed if that’s true, and then there is some evidence the stuff inside vapes and e-cigs is toxic. But beyond that, there’s the simple fact these things occasionally blow up.
You hadn’t heard of this? Some pretty gruesome reports are beginning to stack up. In November, a guy 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 twelve teeth within a similar mishap recently. In Tennessee, another teen is dealing with the severe burns caused when a cheap vape pen starter kit caught fire in his pocket a few weeks ago.
Statistics outlining how prevalent this is certainly remain thin, nevertheless the Federal Emergency Management Agency, of all things, identified 25 cases of e-cigarette explosions in america between 2009-2014. However, that list is based only on incidents reported by the media. Considering that vaping’s seen a surge in popularity since that time-a year ago, the CDC reported a three-fold increase among middle- and high school students alone-the amount certainly is rising. A fast Google search shows a minimum of twelve explosions in 2015 alone.
As opposed to burning tobacco, vape pens and e-cigs use a small lithium-ion battery to heat an aerosol cartridge to release a vapor that’s inhaled. Like in any device which utilizes lithium-ion batteries, it is possible to come across problems once the battery is damaged or subjected to extremes in temperature. A quick circuit may cause the battery to overheat, catch fire, or perhaps explode. These issues usually happen in cheap consumer gadgets which can be quickly churned away from factories. On the whole, it’s relatively rare, but obviously it takes place-recently, in hoverboard scooters.
“With lithium-ion batteries in general, whenever 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 but four US states are averaging temperatures below 50 right now.
Occasionally, the thing is compounded by cheap lithium-ion batteries that “don’t hold 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 can form during the period of boxmmod charge/discharge cycles, especially if the battery is rapidly charged. These things can spread like a weed, eventually bridging the electrodes and resulting in a short circuit. “You have basically something comparable to gasoline in your lithium-ion battery,” Viswanathan says, “therefore immediately it catches fire.”
Lithium-ion batteries power a whole lot of gadgets naturally, and frequently achieve this without trouble. But such things as 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, stated it “cannot speak with user error or with respect to a manufacturer for their device” and, “If there is truly a concern having a specific device, just like a lap top or cell phone manufacturer, that company should take the appropriate action.”
And also to be fair, it’s not uncommon for users to change their best vape box mod, and numerous websites offer tips about how to do exactly that. The industry 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 about this. Most regulatory discussions about e-cigarettes and vapes focus on the Food and Drug Administration’s critique of your chemicals found in the devices. The FDA is going to introduce rules regulating the market, a move that can classify e-cigarettes and vaping products just 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 has been said about the safety in the devices.
The Smoke-Free Alternative Trade Association says it supports “reasonable science-based regulations,” but opposes something that might “stifle innovation.” But it argues “e-cigs and vapor items are technology products, separate and distinct from combustible tobacco.” They liken these people to consumer electronics.
That’s where things get tricky. Asked when it has any safety concerns in regards to the devices, the customer Products Safety Commission deferred for the FDA, saying it will be the federal regulator in charge there. The FDA does claim responsibility for ensuring the safety of the parts in the devices that happen to be found in the intake of tobacco products. But there aren’t plenty of safety rules for manufacturers to adhere to, as well as the FDA is encouraging men and women to report any problems.
Viswanathan carries a recommendation for companies making what is the point of vaping as well as 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 have realized efficient methods to create zones where these batteries are secure to function.”
Granted, the percentages that your vape pen will blow up just like an exploding cigar are slim. However it is possible, so your best bet is to purchase a top quality vape pen coming from a reputable manufacturer. Check the parts-if they appear and feel cheap, they probably are. Viswanathan suggests making sure it’s got some type of battery management system in order to avoid shorts and thermal runaway. Make sure you’re while using right battery and charger, and don’t modify anything.