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Agency announces 2-day meeting on the safety risks of the lithium batteries that power the devices
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration will hold a two-day workshop in April to weigh the dangers of exploding batteries in e-cigarettes.
The agency announced last year that it would start to regulate the devices, which are powered by small, but powerful, lithium-ion batteries. E-cigarettes heat liquid nicotine, turning it into a vapor that can be inhaled.
The Associated Press reported last month that the FDA had identified 66 instances of e-cigarette explosions in 2015 and early 2016. The batteries overheated, caught fire or blew up, according to the wire service.
And researchers from the University of Washington Regional Burn Center in Seattle reported in October that they had treated at least 22 people for burns and other injuries caused by exploding e-cigarettes since October 2015. Their report was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
People have been maimed or burned by exploding batteries, and there have been reports of teeth and facial bones being shattered, the researchers said.
“Once we realized this was a trend at our center, we felt the need to get the word out,” study author Dr. Elisha Brownson told HealthDay. “We want consumers to know this is a risk.”
The American Vaping Association has said that e-cigarettes pose no more fire or explosion risk than other devices that rely on lithium-ion batteries, such as cellphones or laptops, as long as they are used and stored properly.
SOURCES: U.S. Food and Drug Administration; Associated Press
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