CDC Identifies 'Chemical of Concern' in Vaping Lung Injury Investigation
Samples of lung fluid from 29 lung injury patients in 10 states all contained the same chemical, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced. According to a report on The Verge, this discovery is a big step forward in the ongoing investigation into the severe and mysterious lung injuries that have affected e-cigarette users across the country. The chemical, called vitamin E acetate is now considered a chemical of concern by the CDC. As of Nov. 5, 39 people have died and 2,051 cases of lung injuries related to vaping are being investigated.
What’s Causing the Problem?
The CDC stated that vitamin E acetate is an oily substance found in several common household items including foods, supplements and skin creams. While this chemical doesn’t cause harm when applied to the skin or ingested as a supplement, previous research shows that when it is inhaled, it may interfere with normal lung functioning. The oil might work well for skincare. But, when it is heated up, it could act like a greasy substance and inhaling vaporized grease could seriously affect the lungs. Researchers are still trying to determine the exact mechanism that is causing lung damage.
Investigators say the substance has been added to e-cigarettes as a thickener and is particularly attractive to people manufacturing illicit products because it resembles THC oil, THC is the active ingredient in marijuana that provides users with a high. Vitamin E acetate was linked to lung injuries in early September when some state agencies identified the substance in vaping product samples that had been used by people who were diagnosed with the lung disease.
However, finding it in patients is a far more significant discovery. Researchers looked at the fluid taken from the lungs of patients suffering from the injury and found vitamin E acetate in every single sample. They also found THC in 82% of the lung fluid samples and nicotine in 62% of the samples suggesting that a vast majority of patients who were vaping may be using both THC and nicotine products.
Dangerous and Defective Products
Health officials say other chemicals could have also played a role in the ongoing outbreak. The CDC and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are continuing their investigations. Health officials are recommending that people not use THC vaping products.
Our product defect lawyers are closely following these cases. If you or a loved one has experienced adverse health effects or has developed a lung disease as a result of using e-cigarettes or vaping devices, please contact an experienced product defect attorney who is handling these types of cases. You may be eligible to receive compensation for your injuries, damages and losses.