- Members of health and public safety organizations working to determine the cause of VAPI/EVALI
- Members of the cannabis community
We respect and support the efforts of the CDC and the FDA to determine the cause of VAPI/EVALI. Colorado Green Lab is contributing our study on airflow-activated vape pens with the intent of adding a useful piece toward solving the puzzle.
Problem and Scope:
As of 22-October-2019, 1,604 cases of "Vape-Associated Pulmonary Injury" (VAPI) or "e-cigarette, or vaping, product use associated lung injury" (EVALI) have been reported to CDC, with thirty-four (34) confirmed deaths.
At this time, FDA and CDC have not identified the cause of the lung injuries in these cases, and the only commonality among all cases is that patients report the use of e-cigarette or vaping, products. No single compound or ingredient has emerged as the cause of these illnesses to date.
Proposed Common Source of Exposure
Patients have reported using:
- 31% of patients reported exclusive use of only THC-containing products
- 48% reported using both THC- and nicotine-containing products
- 10% of patients reported exclusive use of only nicotine-containing products
Information downloaded 28-October-2019
We propose that the common source of illness in VAPI/EVALI patients is the vape pen battery.
Cartridges designed specifically for nicotine or THC vape formulas are unlikely to come from the same manufacturing batch, nor would the vape formulas contain identical additives.
Both cartridge types incorporate universal (#510) threading, and nicotine and THC #510 cartridges can be vaped using the same vape pen battery.
The study will present key findings here, with related recommendations, and followed by additional posts with the study design, comprehensive results to support the proposed hypotheses, and extended conclusions on the findings.
Findings relate only to airflow-activated ("auto") vape pens, as only these designs have an open channel into the battery compartment.
- Vape liquid readily seeps into the battery compartment of airflow-activated ("auto") vape pens.
- In the majority of auto vape pens examined, significant amounts (40mg-80mg) of exposed metal solder is in direct contact with vape liquid entering the battery compartment.Test exposed circuitry and solder joints for toxic metals, including cadmium
- Vape liquid that has entered the battery compartment can be inhaled.
- The lithium ion pouches in the battery casing have sufficient information printed on their exterior to track the hardware back to the manufacturer.
- Evaluate the vape pen battery hardware used by patients who developed VAPI/EVALI for signs of corrosion (ex. verdigris) and exposed metal solder
- Test exposed circuitry and solder joints for toxic metals, including cadmium
- If cadmium or other toxic metals are found in the hardware, patients should be monitored (near- and long-term) for blood and urine cadmium levels. Cadmium has a urinary excretion half-life of 10-30 years and patients with acute exposure would have an increased the risk of kidney damage long after the respiratory illness resolves.