What's Causing Some E-Cigarette Batteries to Explode?
Electronic cigarettes are supposed to be the safer way to get your nicotine fix. Vape Wholesale But old fashioned cigarettes don’t explode in your pocket or blow up in your face. And that’s what’s happening across the country with some e-cigarette batteries.
Thankfully, these mishaps don’t happen very often, but when an Electronic Cigarette battery malfunctions, the injuries can be horrendous — burns on the hands and face, fractured bones and loss of eyesight.
“It’s literally an explosion, a super-hot explosion,” said Dr. Anne Wagner of the University of Colorado Hospital (UCH) Burn Center, where they’ve treated six people seriously injured by e-cigarettes since the beginning of the year. “We’re seeing deep third-degree burns and almost all of them require skin grafts and these grafts leave a significant scar.”
Earlier this year, the UCH Burn Center treated 19-year old Alexander Shonkwiler after an e-cig battery exploded in his pocket, set his pants on fire and caused a painful burn on his upper thigh.“I heard what sounded almost like a sparkler going off, and then bang, a huge explosion, a huge flash of light and these flames were coming at my face,” Shonkwiler said. “As I looked down, my leg was on fire. I ripped my pants off, and even with my pants off, my leg was still on fire because the battery acid sprayed all over my leg and dripped down my leg.”
Shonkwiler told NBC News he’d taken the battery out of the device and had it in his pocket with some coins. That could have resulted in a short. He said the package didn’t warn about the hazard, and he never realized the risk.
Despite the potential for danger, e-cigarettes are currently an unregulated product, so we don’t know how many injuries they’ve caused.
The only statistic available is from a 17-month old report from the U.S. Fire Administration that found 25 e-cigarette injuries between 2009 and 2014. The report noted that the shape and construction of e-cigarettes can make them more likely than other products with lithium-ion batteries to behave like “flaming rockets” when a battery fails.The Fire Administration estimated that more than two-and-a-half million Americans used e-cigs in 2014, a practice known as vaping. The industry says the number of people who have switched from smoking to vaping has grown dramatically in the last two years. So have the mishaps.
“We initially thought this was a rare event, but this is increasing in frequency,” said Dr. Elisha Brownson, a trauma and burn critical-care fellow at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. The burn unit at Harborview is now treating one e-cig-related injury a month, five since October.
“We’re seeing significant tissue injury as well as damage to the mouth or the hands and the tendons,” Dr.Brownson said. “It basically combines a flame burn and a tissue blast injury.”u2022eney7485yyWEEEEDD