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Blackmarket THC vapes with Vitamin E oil cause of illnesses

In a news release issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Friday, the agency says that after analyzing lung fluid samples from 29 patients with vaping illness in 10 different states, vitamin E acetate was found in all 29 samples.

“These findings provide direct evidence of vitamin E acetate at the primary site of injury within the lungs,” said Dr. Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the CDC, according to The Hill.

Schuchat calls the findings a “breakthrough” in the search for the cause of the outbreak, which started earlier this year. THC was identified in 82 percent of the samples and nicotine was identified in 62 percent of the samples.

Schuchat did acknowledge that Vitamin E acetate had previously been detected in product samples. In September, the New York State Department of Health said that lab tests showed extremely high levels of vitamin E acetate in nearly all of the analyzed samples of products that contained cannabis.

CDC found vitamin E acetate  an additive in some THC-containing products  in all lung fluid samples ...

CDC found vitamin E acetate, an additive in some THC-containing products, in all lung fluid samples from 29 patients w/ e-cigarette, or vaping, product use associated lung injury. Avoid THC-containing products, esp from informal sources.

Another study, published later in September in The New England Journal of Medicine, focused on 53 patients who had vaped within 90 days of their symptoms, most of them saying they had vaped within a week of the study, according to Digital Journal.

“Patients reported using 14 distinct brands of THC products and 13 brands of nicotine products in a wide range of flavors,” the researchers say. “The most common THC product that was reported was marketed under the ‘Dank Vape’ label (reported by 24 of 41 interviewed patients [59 percent). Patients reported the use of a number of different e-cigarette devices to aerosolize these products.”

Looking at the source of vape products
In September, The New York Times noted, that “some dangerous chemical or combination of chemicals has been introduced into the pipeline of vaping products.” Investigators “believe that when people vape this noxious cocktail, it sets off a dangerous, even lethal, reaction inside the lungs.”

Electronic cigarettes with different flavored E liquid are seen on display on September 6  2013 in M...

Electronic cigarettes with different flavored E liquid are seen on display on September 6, 2013 in Miami, Florida
Joe Raedle, Getty/AFP/File

Bootleg or illegal THC vaping cartridges can also contain unsafe levels of myclobutanil — a fungicide. When myclobutanil is heated, it releases toxic fumes, one of which is hydrogen cyanide. Myron Ronay, the CEO of BelCosta Labs, a cannabis testing lab in California, says “That’s one of the most commonly discussed pesticides. That’s definitely one that we see frequently in the underground market.”

The CDC and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) both say they cannot yet rule out other possible toxins or ingredients that may be causing the illnesses. However, people are warned to avoid using pre-filled THC vape cartridges that they get from friends, off the street, or from other informal sources, such as the Internet, reports NBC News.

As of November 5, 2019, 2,051 cases of e-cigarette, or vaping, product use associated lung injury (EVALI) have been reported to CDC from 49 states (all except Alaska), the District of Columbia, and 1 U.S. territory. Thirty-nine deaths have been confirmed in 24 states and the District of Columbia (as of November 5, 2019).

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We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of our dear friend Karen Graham, who served as Editor-at-Large at Digital Journal. She was 78 years old. Karen's view of what is happening in our world was colored by her love of history and how the past influences events taking place today. Her belief in humankind's part in the care of the planet and our environment has led her to focus on the need for action in dealing with climate change. It was said by Geoffrey C. Ward, "Journalism is merely history's first draft." Everyone who writes about what is happening today is indeed, writing a small part of our history.

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