United States health officials have announced on Friday the cause of a mysterious outbreak of vaping illness, stating they have a “very strong culprit.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that the same chemical compound had been found in fluid taken from the lungs of 29 patients across the country. The mixture – vitamin E acetate was previously found in liquids from electronic cigarettes and other vaping devices used by the ones who got sick. Officials informed that a common suspect had been found in the damaged lungs of the patients. CDC’s Dr. Anne Schuchat said that “We are in a better place in terms of having one powerful culprit.”
The agency officials had cautioned that they could not rule out all other toxic substances; hence, more clear studies had to be done on animals showing that vitamin E acetate causes lung damage as per the previous reports. Since March, more than 2000 Americans who vaped have gotten sick among them there were many teens and young adults, and at least 40 people have died. A bunch of cases has been reported in August and September, but new cases are still being reported. Vitamin E acetate has been recently used to thicken in vaping fluid, mostly in black market vape cartridges. Vitamin E is safe when it comes to vitamin pill or use on skin, but inhaling oily droplets is very harmful. It is linked with honey by the CDC’s Dr. Jim Pirkle, who said it is sticky and stays in our lungs.
Most people who got sick had vaped liquids that contain THC and the high-inducing part of marijuana. Many said that they had bought it from the black market; some also said they had got it from their friends. E-cigarettes and many other vaping devices do heat a liquid and transfer it to an inhalable product. Nicotine is present in most products, but THC vaping is becoming more common. The federal agency said on Friday that “CDC continues to recommend that people should not use an e-cigarette, or vaping, products that contain THC, particularly from informal sources like friends, or family, or in-person or online dealers.” The CDC’s Pirkle said that animal checking is on their priority list now, and they might get results within a year. He said, “We need the animal study to nail down cause and effect.”