A lot of people hail vaping being a safer alternative to cigarettes, arguing that there’s no tobacco smoke, so it’s reached be safer. It remains to be seen if that’s true, and there is some evidence 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 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 recuperating from the severe burns caused each time a free vape pen starter kit caught fire in their pocket several weeks ago.
Statistics outlining exactly how prevalent this is certainly remain thin, although the Federal Emergency Management Agency, of all the things, identified 25 cases of electronic cigarette explosions in america between 2009-2014. However, that list is based only on incidents reported through the media. Provided that vaping’s seen a surge in popularity consequently-just last year, the CDC reported a 3-fold increase among middle- and high school students alone-the number almost certainly is rising. A fast Search on the internet shows no less than twelve explosions in 2015 alone.
Rather than 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 that utilizes lithium-ion batteries, you can encounter problems as soon as the battery is damaged or exposed to extremes in temperature. A shorter circuit could cause battery to overheat, catch fire, or even explode. These complications have a tendency to exist in cheap consumer gadgets which are quickly churned from factories. On the whole, it’s relatively rare, but obviously it takes place-most recently, in hoverboard scooters.
“With lithium-ion batteries on the whole, 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 are 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.
Sometimes, the thing is compounded by cheap lithium-ion batteries that “don’t possess the luxury of making use of sophisticated management systems,” Viswanathan says. That can bring about dangerously over- or under-charged batteries. Dendrite is yet another potential problem. Dendrite is really a conductive filament that could form throughout boxmmod charge/discharge cycles, particularly if the battery is rapidly charged. This stuff can spread such as a weed, eventually bridging the electrodes and resulting in a short circuit. “You have basically something equivalent to gasoline inside your lithium-ion battery,” Viswanathan says, “and thus immediately it catches fire.”
Lithium-ion batteries power a whole lot of gadgets needless to say, and sometimes do so without trouble. But things like cell phones and laptops and electric vehicles typically are manufactured to exacting specifications and rigorously tested, both by the company and outside experts. The Smoke-Free Alternative Trade Association, which represents for vape-makers, stated it “cannot talk with 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 mobile phone manufacturer, that company should consider the appropriate action.”
And also to be fair, it’s not uncommon for users to change their vape mod box, and numerous websites offer tips about how to just do that. The market trade group duly notes that hacked and modded devices can pose a safety risk.
All of these begs the question what, if anything, is now being done regarding this. Most regulatory discussions about e-cigarettes and vapes concentrate on the Food and Drug Administration’s critique of the chemicals found in the devices. The FDA is about to introduce rules regulating the industry, a move that could classify e-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 such as offering free samples. But little is considered about 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 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 if this has any safety concerns about the devices, the individual Products Safety Commission deferred on the FDA, saying it is the federal regulator in control there. The FDA does claim responsibility for ensuring the safety of your parts in the devices that happen to be used in the intake of cigarettes and tobacco products. But there aren’t plenty of safety rules for manufacturers to go by, and also the FDA is encouraging customers to report any problems.
Viswanathan has a recommendation for companies making what is vaping? and also 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 are finding efficient ways to create zones where these batteries are safe to function.”
Granted, the percentages that your vape pen will blow up just like an exploding cigar are slim. However it is possible, so the best option is to purchase a high quality vape pen coming from a reputable manufacturer. Look into the parts-once they feel and look cheap, they probably are. Viswanathan suggests making certain it’s got some form of battery management system to avoid shorts and thermal runaway. Make certain you’re using the right battery and charger, and don’t modify anything.