A lot of people hail vaping like a safer alternative to cigarettes, arguing that there’s no tobacco smoke, so it’s got to be safer. It remains to be seen if that’s true, where there is some evidence how the stuff inside vapes and e-cigs is toxic. But beyond that, there’s the 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 man 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 in a similar mishap last month. In Tennessee, another teen is coping with the severe burns caused when a free vape pen starter kit caught fire in the pocket a couple of weeks ago.
Statistics outlining how prevalent this is certainly remain thin, but the Federal Emergency Management Agency, of most things, identified 25 cases of electronic cigarette explosions in america between 2009-2014. However, that list is situated only on incidents reported by the media. Considering that vaping’s seen a surge in popularity ever since then-last year, the CDC reported a three-fold increase among middle- and school students alone-the quantity more than likely is rising. A brief Online search shows a minimum of 12 explosions in 2015 alone.
Rather than burning tobacco, vape pens and e-cigs utilize a small lithium-ion battery to heat an aerosol cartridge to release a vapor that’s inhaled. As with any device that uses lithium-ion batteries, it is possible to come across problems if the battery is damaged or subjected to extremes in temperature. A quick circuit can cause battery to overheat, catch fire, or perhaps explode. These problems have a tendency to appear in cheap consumer gadgets that are quickly churned out of factories. On the whole, it’s relatively rare, but obviously it happens-recently, in hoverboard scooters.
“With lithium-ion batteries generally, 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 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.
Occasionally, the issue is compounded by cheap lithium-ion batteries that “don’t hold 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 can be a conductive filament that will form during the period of boxmmod charge/discharge cycles, particularly 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 equal to gasoline within your lithium-ion battery,” Viswanathan says, “and so immediately it catches fire.”
Lithium-ion batteries power a whole lot of gadgets needless to say, and quite often achieve this without trouble. But such things as mobile phone devices and laptops and electric vehicles typically are produced to exacting specifications and rigorously tested, both with the company and outside experts. The Smoke-Free Alternative Trade Association, which represents for vape-makers, stated it “cannot talk with user error or on the part of a manufacturer for device” and, “If you find truly a problem with a specific device, just like a lap top or cellphone manufacturer, that company should use the appropriate action.”
As well as be fair, it’s not unusual for users to modify their box mod vape, and a variety of websites offer guidelines on how to accomplish that. The marketplace trade group duly notes that hacked and modded devices can pose a safety risk.
All of these begs the question what, if something, has been done about this. Most regulatory discussions about e-cigarettes and vapes concentrate on the Food and Drug Administration’s critique from the chemicals located in the devices. The FDA is going to introduce rules regulating the industry, a move that can classify e-cigarettes and vaping products much like tobacco. Products would carry warning labels, sales to minors will be banned, and you’d see restrictions on things such as offering free samples. But little is considered concerning the safety in 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 merchandise is 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 control there. The FDA does claim responsibility for ensuring the security from the parts from the devices that are utilized in the consumption of tobacco products. But there aren’t a great deal of safety rules for manufacturers to follow along with, and also the FDA is encouraging men and women to report any problems.
Viswanathan carries a recommendation for companies making what is sub ohm vaping as well as other gadgets that use 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 discovered efficient strategies to create zones where these batteries are safe to work.”
Granted, the chances that the vape pen will blow up just like an exploding cigar are slim. But it is possible, so the best choice is to purchase an excellent vape pen from your reputable manufacturer. Check the parts-when they appearance and feel cheap, they probably are. Viswanathan suggests ensuring it’s got some form of battery management system to stop shorts and thermal runaway. Ensure you’re utilizing the right battery and charger, and don’t modify anything.