Vaping-related illness update 9/5/19: A likely CAUSE of at least some of the cases has been identified….
…and though the investigation is far from finished, this may help prevent at least some further cases.
….it's actually a form of Vitamin E (E acetate) which heretofore has not been thought to be harmful in as a nutritional supplement or an ingredient topical skin treatments, but "its molecular structure could make it hazardous when inhaled."
For those of you who can't see WaPo articles, here's the intro:
"State and federal officials have found the same chemical in samples of marijuana products used by people sickened in different parts of the country and who used different brands of products.
The chemical is an oil derived from vitamin E. The FDA found the oil in cannabis products in samples collected from patients across the US.
That same chemical was also found in nearly all cannabis samples from patients who fell ill in New York in recent weeks.
Vitamin E is found naturally in certain foods, such as canola oil, olive oil and almonds. The oil derived from the vitamin, known as vitamin E acetate is not known to cause harm when ingested as a vitamin supplement or applied to the skin. Its name sounds harmless, experts said, but its molecular structure could make it hazardous when inhaled. Its oil-like properties could be associated with the kinds of respiratory symptoms that many patients have reported: cough, shortness of breath and chest pain.
'We knew from earlier testing by NY that they had found vitamin E acetate, but to have FDA talk about it from their overall testing plan, that was remarkable,” said one official.
The FDA also [was said to have] said that its tests found nothing unusual in nicotine products that had been collected from patients.
State health dept's are reporting new cases weekly. As of Aug. 27, there were 215 possible cases in 25 states. Additional reports are under investigation by the CCDP.
Oregon health authorities said a middle-aged adult who died in late July of a severe respiratory illness had used an e-cigarette containing marijuana oil purchased from a legal dispensary. It’s the second death linked to vaping and the first to be linked to a product bought at a store. Illinois officials did not specify what kind of product was used in the first case.
Authorities are focusing on the role of contaminants or counterfeit substances as a likely cause. Many patients have [reported] they bought cannabis products off the street. Many say they have vaped products containing marijuana, but some also used nicotine e-cigarettes. Many report using both.
Authorities said they are not ruling out adulterants in nicotine vaping products."
[More of the article in the comment section. Note that vaporizing of loose flower has NOT been implicated]
More than 200 reports of lung illnesses are under investigation, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Vitamin E acetate has been found in vaping samples.